Album Review: Lament Cityscape – The Torn

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“The Nothing” from The Neverending Story was one of the most terrifying concepts of my childhood. A raging black cloud sweeping across an existential landscape of hopes and dreams, completely eliminating anyone and anything in its path. An unstoppable creeping void of misery and hopelessness. Even the Rockbiter, with his “big, good, strong hands” couldn’t stop The Nothing from carrying away his friends and eventually even himself. The seeming finality of it all – in a word, the apocalypse – was far beyond my understanding as a child, but nonetheless deeply disturbing and horrifying.

If The Nothing had a soundtrack, Lament Cityscape‘s The Torn would be a fitting choice. The album art itself acts as a precursor to the post-apocalyptic, desolate images these songs inspire. Working from a palette of sludge, doom, and industrial noise, Lament Cityscape takes these elements and slows them to a dramatic, yawning crawl, swallowing each second of The Torn in that black cloud of hopelessness. It’s not hard to imagine those huge, heavy riffs echoing over the mountains of Fantasia, signaling the coming doom – a prophet of the void.

The Torn isn’t necessarily a unique idea. The French industrial sludge/doom act Dirge released a similarly gaping black maw of an album in 2014 with Hyperion. But Dirge’s take at least allowed for the possibility of beauty and hope. What sets Lament Cityscape’s work apart is the absolute absence of light. The music acts as a vacuum, obtaining and retaining mass, ever-growing and never allowing its walls to crack – an impenetrable tumor. It’s a purely suffocating kind of sludge that feeds only the most bleak corners of the mind.

The lyrics don’t offer much hope, either, as on “The First Son,” where Mike McClatchey wails “Peel it back / Pull me out / Seal it shut / There is nothing left.” That’s the entirety of the song. Bleak, but entirely tailor-made to McClatchey’s vision – to proclaim the gospel of The Nothing. The cymbals crashing into riffs are the lightning, and the rolling bass the thunder. The industrial noise that accents this smothering atmosphere are the calls of flesh-eating crows. Nothing is left but the dry fields and the scorched sky.

With The Torn, the vision of the artist is fully realized and potent. Nothing is wasted and nothing is extraneous. It’s a wholly immersive listen that begs to be spun again and again. It’s hard to find fault with it, so I won’t go looking for something to complain about. The Nothing has come, and I will happily give myself over to its gaze.

5/5 Flaming Toilets ov Hell

 

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  • CyberneticOrganism
  • Vote for Jeb

    I had a very similar reaction as a child to this guy from the Little Nemo.

    http://i.ytimg.com/vi/vHPvEw3OqfE/maxresdefault.jpg

    • Celtic Frosty

      I remember this part of the Little Nemo. Was this before or after the scene with the sea turtles?

      • Vote for Jeb

        It’s probably been over two decades since I last watched it. I just remember the Nightmare King scaring the poop out of me.

      • KJM, Doom Hunter General

        (facepalm)

      • Teeth Full Of Nose Hair

        It’s the part right before Nemo got horrifically transformed into sushi.

    • Waynecro

      Fuck, man! I just bought this movie. I watched it Friday night. Nostalgia! The big-ass manta ray weirded me out when I was a kid. Also, the music for the Little Nemo Nintendo game is fantastic.

      • Vote for Jeb

        Is this Fern Gully?

        • Yes.

          • Vote for Jeb

            Still never seen it.

          • Teeth Full Of Nose Hair

            Good movie!

          • Lacertilian

            If you’ve seen Avatar or Pocahontas (I’m told), then you’ve seen the derivative versions of Fern Gully.
            /bitter anti-JamesCameron Australian jibe.

    • Teeth Full Of Nose Hair

      I was terrified of ET as a kid. I’d happily throw a fridge on that motherfucker if he landed in my yard like that! I was also scared of Ganon from Legend Of Zelda 2 (Save me, Link!) whenever he’d do that laugh.

      • Vote for Jeb

        The only time Ganon pops up in Zelda 2 is when you die. That screen?

        • Chef Poopypanty’s Fart Soup

          Yeah, that one!

      • I will contact my cousin Lonk, from Pennsylvania, and will call you back.

  • frozengoatsheadupanunsarse

    This is one bodaciously bleak bastard of a beautifully bruising thing.

  • The intro to the second song reminded me of Larvae of the Lie by Origin.

    The end.

  • RepostedAvengedSevenfoldFan2

    dude… bro… you are totally right! i love listening to this album while im doing my hair, or shopping for new jeans, and some times when im working on my truck but its kinda hard to rock out under my truck… wait no it’s not its 12 feet off the ground.

    -Anonymous, (May 3, 2006)

  • Celtic Frosty

    …I really like this album a lot, is what I’m trying to say.

  • Waynecro

    Nice review, Frosty. In other news, is anyone else jazzed about the new Panopticon CD (http://thetruepanopticon.bandcamp.com/album/autumn-eternal)?

  • Vote for Jeb

    This is p good, snowman.

    • Celtic Frosty

      Thanks, Prez

    • Vote for Jeb

      That’s what the birds at my apartment do. I don’t know if I’ve ever seen bigger globs of bird crap than those found on my car at this place

      • Teeth Full Of Nose Hair

        There’s a kinda sorta park up the street from me where the ducks gather. Watching a duck shit and getting a whiff of it is quite the experience.
        I can’t but think of cooking a few every time I see them, lol! Pretty sure my friend/roomie’s 5 year old daughter would hate me for life if I did that in the house.

        • KJM, Doom Hunter General

          Mmm, roast duck.

          • Chef Poopypanty’s Fart Soup

            Do you have any Vietnamese or Chinese streets around there? Roasted ducks are pretty much a staple at those places, at least in those areas in Chicago. Cermack Chinatown in Chicago practically has ducks dripping in every front window. Same around the uptown neighborhood there.

          • KJM, Doom Hunter General

            Oh, there’s plenty of places to score duck here.

          • Chef Poopypanty’s Fart Soup

            Damn straight! If you see any places like that, try to score a deal on some of the duck drippings and cook your fries in that. You can thank me later!
            And excellent recipe from Anthony Bourdain’s cookbook for that (just replace the peanut oil with duck fat):

            http://www.cookstr.com/recipes/les-halles-fries

    • Óðinn

      Contrary to popular belief, it does actually end. 😉

  • COAL ROLL

    wow 5 full flushes

  • This might be a shade to slow for me but I like the vocal aspect along with lead guitars hovering throughout each song. Definitely creates the image of a slow march to death.

  • Guppusmaximus

    “If The Nothing had a soundtrack, Lament Cityscape‘s The Torn would be a fitting choice.”

    Yes, because the Theme is unfuckwithable (Limahl from Kajagoogoo, man)

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=heHdOTt_iGc

    • Celtic Frosty

      Greatest theme in the history of cinema.

    • Teeth Full Of Nose Hair

      I loooooooooooooved this as a kid! Never known why the book has never been translated, though.

  • BEARD OV GREAT DAWKINS

    Dis good

  • BEARD OV GREAT DAWKINS

    The Nothing is also reminiscent of Stephen King’s The Langoliers

  • Teeth Full Of Nose Hair

    The Nothing >>>>>>>>>>>>>> The cloud from The Happening.

    • Celtic Frosty

      Everything that isn’t The Happening >>>>>>>>>>>>>>> The Happening

  • Chef Poopypanty’s Fart Soup

    Wow. Just wow! This is about a guy who repairs saxes and trumpets for a living.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CWERXEBPntc

    • Óðinn

      …and that’s what you’d imagine he’d look like too. 😉

  • Dagon

    I need to check out this album.

    Really appreciate how you managed to be concise but thoughtful in this review. You made a good case for everyone to click play on this one.