THE LAST OF LUCY (USA) – Moksha, 2022 🇬🇧
I thought it was something lost, abandoned by the incessant fashions that time raises and buries, but here we are, in 2022. almost like a temporary error, something that should not have survived. THE LAST OF LUCY belongs to that lineage of futuristic technical death metal that began in the late 2000s THE FACELESS or WRETCHED and that has quietly evolved and endured, leaving stamps such as ARTIFICIAL BRAIN, ARCHSPIRE, or the Huntington Beach protagonist of this review.
Despite my initial amusement, Moksha isn’t a perfect album, it has some stylistic inborn flaws, but it’s far from being a pro tools parody group. Barely half an hour of technical riffs, devouring-scale solos at an absurd speed, an almost perennial double bass drum, progressive musical escapes placed in the middle of certain songs with no warning, and some science fiction introductions. It might result intimidating at the beginning because practically everything has an «in your face» feel from the first moment and I won’t deny that the band can be perceived as repetitive as the minutes go by. No less true is that thanks to all the elements listed above, THE LAST OF LUCY gives some coherence to the songs and avoid becoming an onanist exercise for guitarists that only they will enjoy.
Songs last around three minutes and, in that short period, they have to manage to include as much as riffs and rhythm changes as possible, almost like an anxiety attack. This causes the expected saturation but also mandates the songs to be dynamic. The short progressive section of «Ritual of the Abraxas» can serve as an example. It gives us some relief after such a heavy section introducing that little idea, a small studio sketch that, perhaps in another situation would have become a song in its own right, more in the vein of an ambient technical track quite far away from the ultra-aggressive approach of the Californian band.
It’s also interesting how they burst the rhythmical base of «Parasomnia» for a few seconds. That is, substituting guitars and bass for a smooth synthesizer and leaving drums and vocals intact, creating a kind of vertigo by leaving us in a void to, immediately afterward, return us with a blow to reality with the usual discharge of riffs and double bass drums.
But possibly the science fiction introductions are the ones that best forge Moshka‘s identity, not in vain, whether how long they last, each one of the 10 songs on the album has its own, whether it is based on synthesizers, pianos, strings… Some have this classic science fiction feeling, as in «Moksha» or «Agni» and another even impersonates Akira Yamaoka in «Ritual of the Abraxas» and although some could argue that these interludes aren’t part of the main band’s core (guitar, bass, drums, and voice), it is undeniable that they lighten the burden of the music since it takes a lot of patience to go beyond the storm of riffs, and we won’t deny it, they turn out to be very entertaining.
Perhaps the biggest flaw of THE LAST OF LUCY has decided to have a race against time that no one has asked them to. No means to be offensive but while they might try to be a modern version of ORIGIN, those little ambient-technical interludes or some melodic solos suggest that the band has the ability to do much more, to create much more distinctive songs. What is missing, for example, is a greater integration of those synthesizer introductions in the main part of the songs. In other words, it wouldn’t be necessary to spend so much time in order to find the greatest values of the band. It’s really cool to see how fast and accurate you can play that passage in the song, or how far the drummer can go hitting double bass without fading. But already proven those qualities, I think it’s time to aim for bigger goals.