Here’s a weird question: what do you do when all you have in your hands is a song? Just one song, that’s the sum of your creative output so far and for better or worse, it’s what you have. The answer is, of course, you package it as best you are able and then you release it. Which is what we have here now.
The info out of the way first: Lodge of the Empty Bed is an Oregon (slightly) experimental (raw) black metal band that is currently signed to Glossolalia Records. Frothing to Betray Limbs is the band’s second demo release and consists of a single track that runs for sixteen minutes and forty-five seconds… and what a ride it is.
What’s on offer here is highly atmospheric, excellently raw black metal darker than the hearts of men; pounding drums, tremolo-picked riffs, clearer punk influences, foreboding atmosphere, guttural rasps and, to top it off, exquisitely pronounced, mean bass come together to form a juggernaut of a sound. That’s about as well as I can actually describe the music without giving a play-by-play, so there you have it.
But if we were to forego the usual stylistic descriptors, I’ll say that Frothing to Betray Limbs is an exercise of demonstrating / class on how a song’s flow is extremely important and, when used efficiently, can lead to greatness. Which is definitely what is found here: starting off with a lengthy, but not boring intro passage before getting to the good stuff, the song flows wonderfully, moving from black metal to noise to different pastures before devolving into a doomy breakdown… it’s like watching something terrible form, complete itself and then slowly die.
Another aspect of the release is the raw production: Frothing to Betray Limbs was recorded live as a rehearsal demo, and for what it is, it has a beautiful(ly ugly) sound. The drums are organic, coming through loud and clear; the bass is heard and makes its presence felt; the guitars are adequately heavy and well-processed; the vocals (throaty rasps) come through clearly and the feedback, the atmosphere is impeccable. This is what I mean by saying that some rawness, when used right, can contribute greatly to a release and this is definitely a case where it worked.
But of course, at the end of the day, the most important question is: sure, I liked it, but who would I recommend this to? Without a doubt, black metal fans or just extreme metal fans with a taste for the darker arts are Lodge of the Empty Bed’s primary audience. Others may not get as big a kick out of this as those, but still, there are kicks to be had if you’re open minded. Highly recommended.
Pillar and Light – drums, vocals, lyrics
A False Memory – guitars
Fatigue – guitars
Ohlde – bass, vocals
01. Frothing to Betray Limbs
Frothing to Betray Limbs on Glosollalia Records’ Bandcamp Page