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Album Review: Lucid AfterLife, I Am

DH Vancouver Staff Jul 29, 2015 1:22 pm

Who is Lucid AfterLife?

Nathaniel Jack (vocals), Diego Avila (guitar), Kyle Arellano (bass), and Matthew Shearlaw (drums) are known for their genre-bending sound, which mixes metal, hip-hop, and spoken word, among others. The four-piece is revered for their theatrical live performances, consistently captivating audiences on tours across North America. They have released a handful of tracks, as well as an EP, Meltdown. Now, the Vancouver-based progressive rock band gives us a deeper look into the depths of their souls with their new album, I Am.

Funky, introspective, and laced with thick lines and squealing riffs, the eight tracks on Lucid AfterLife’s latest effort play seamlessly, flowing from dark places to lighter ones both sonically and metaphorically.

I Am opens with its title track, with the band affirming their presence through groovy verses and powerful shouts over heavy, hard-hitting riffs. The song, idiosyncratic by way of Rage Against The Machine, descends nicely into “Mother” — a slow-burner with sexy plucks and even sexier female backing vocals.

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Lead singer Jack’s spoken word is nothing short of poetic over emotive strums on “A.O. (Alpha Omega),” a track originally released in 2013. Though it’s likely the most well known song off the album, it’s not the biggest highlight — “Lillith”, which follows with a hair-raising guitar solo and pummelling drums, also leaves a great impact as it slowly builds up and down and back again.

I Am’s final three tracks almost act as extensions of each other — whirlwinds of intense emotion with narratives that seemingly pick up where the last left off. “The Price is Right” considers the allure and cost of fame, leading into “Dope’n Dhamma” — another album standout — that has Jack urgently whispering, “everybody’s doped up” over bone-rattling percussion and eerie bass lines that emulate the destructive tendencies that come with celebrity.

“Love Is Beyond” brings the journey to a harmonious close with a nine and a half minute opus of contemplative riffs and atmospheric arrangements. Optimistic lyrics remind us that there’s always light after darkness and suggest that maybe Lucid AfterLife is, like their music, just a beautiful combination of many different things.

Lucid AfterLife’s I Am is available on Bandcamp.

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DH Vancouver Staff
Daily Hive is the evolution of Vancity Buzz, established in Vancouver in 2008. In 2016, the publication rebranded and opened newsrooms in Calgary, Toronto, and Montreal. Send story tips to [email protected]

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