Review by Alex on September 3, 2018.
The four tracks on Lemuralia offer some of the best black metal played with a mega ton of atmosphere incorporated to give the listener an unforgettable horror trip. This vocally sounds like a merging of doom metal and 1st wave black metal all wrapped in a dirty blanket of horrors. The songs on Lemuralia are going to spoil you in terms of atmosphere if you're the kind of listener that likes to lose yourself in the trance of the music being played whenever the opportunity is presented. Given only a handful of bands have managed to successfully create a black metal album that still captures the common vibe while straying from the norm, one would see it being a difficult task to birth something that is completely unique to the genre all the while meeting demands of what is expected. Feeling is essential and Cemetery Lights with this 22 minute Ep titled Lemuralia have undoubtedly showed the listener that this project is equipped with the knowledge and ability to compose music that both innovates and preserves the traditional 1st wave black metal sound and atmosphere.
With the lyrics giving the portrayal of short horror stories and occult occurrences, one would imagine this kind of album to suit the black metal genre; however when done in such a way that it challenges the output of other bands both past and present, no choice is left but to give utmost attention to the musical entry. Every song offers something that is worth the while; eg “Necrophilosoph” shines where the structure of the music is concerned. The ability to go from fast segments to doom like parts and unite those elements via the use of matching guitar solos and leads is a treat to the ears. Not forgetting the compelling stories being told on each song is a pleasure to read as they paint the scene almost perfectly and give a grim description of the horrors taking place. “Accursed Funeral” has a short but effective guitar solo that absolutely steals the spotlight and helps greatly in the unification of the musical elements. Many bands fail when trying to find that one riff or lead that brings the song and album together and in not being able to execute this thoroughly and successfully the record suffers. Cemetery Lights however show the listener in a confident and almost boasting manner the way it should be done.
Given the level of musical variation featured on Lemuralia one would expect some level of question-marks to occur during the listening of the material as it is not often that something such as this is successfully attempted; however, on this debut EP everything sounds as though it had been practiced an deeply thought out before it came to fruition. Much of the success attained here can be credited to the flow of the album in which is excellently demonstrated on the title track that mixes that ominous doom metal sound with baleful gasping (almost late Nocternity-esque) that is accompanied by an atmosphere which matches the story being told. This is a continuous occurrence on Lemuralia as the listener is never abandoned during the transition between doom and 1st wave black metal. There is no filler, all instrumentation seems to be integral and purposefully implemented. The production is suitable for something such as this; though fairly loud, the mixing is outstanding. Each musical instrument being played can be heard clearly despite the minute audible roughness.
Cemetery Lights is the band to be paying attention to in 2018 specifically where underground black metal is concerned. I hope there is much more to come from this project.
Rating: 7.6 out of 10