08
Nov
09

Lycia – The Burning Circle And Then Dust (2006)

Lycia-BurningCircleWhat, another Lycia album? Didn’t I say they were kinda formulaic? It’s true they’re usually working with a restricted palette, however this is the Lycia album you should get if you want to check them out. Then if you like what you hear, get Estrella. Both recordings are essential. Everything clicked on this album.

Lycia found out they could make beautiful music. It’s still gorgeously dark and haunting, and Mike VanPortfleet still half-whispers his vocals as if from the grave, but wow, there is actually some melody here! The general impression from all the heavily treated guitar and synth is of the glory days of shoegaze, and the band Slowdive in particular. The sound is so full, electric and alive that you want to keep reaching for the volume knob because more = better, without limit. You simply cannot turn up the volume too loud on this album, and it has the distinction of being the loudest thing I have ever played on my stereo. It’s a good thing the neighbors were away!

More deep, deep burbling bass and drum machine, more densely layered washes of guitar and keyboards yearning for the stars. As opposed to other Lycia offerings, the warmth here is a definite and welcoming presence, Even in the macabre “In the Fire and Flames” there is familiar humanity. They come very close to creating a pop song with “Pray” which is further notable as the first time the beatbox has been turned up past 20 bpm (not much of an exaggeration). The other standout track, “Where Has All The Time Gone” presents a magnificent and melancholy paean of dark romanticism. The heights reached by the humming symphony of lush sustained reverberations are mesmerizing. Gorgeous!

The Burning Circle And Then Dust was originally released as a double album, but was then scaled back to include just the first disc, definitely the better half. You have probably not heard much like Lycia, so let their sonic masterpiece be your introduction.

The Burning Circle And Then Dust receives 5 out of 5 stars.

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