For Fans Of
A Life Once Lost have fallen into the background ever so slightly. Not because their sound has regressed, but these days with so much competition, five years can seem like an eternity. Listeners are fickle. They’ll wait, but when a shiny new toy comes along they’ll gravitate and that patience is immediately lost.
2007’s ‘Iron Gag’ was nasty. Just a brilliantly composed mix of psychedelic, tech and downtrodden metal. So where does ‘Ecstatic Trance’ measure up? Studio album number six is a case where, what the listener wants, the listener gets. The departure of long-time drummer Justin Graves could’ve disturbed the continuity and interrupted the flow of things, but the menace is still there. Evidently, the hunger too.
The overall pace doesn’t seem as fast, but the riffs are still prominent and discordant (in a good way) to keep the momentum and the interest. It’s like an oddball musical cocktail of part Meshuggah, part Lamb of God and part sludgy metal.
Opener ‘Something Awful’ is dictating, while subsequent track ‘Gnawing Lisp’ is a little timid. However, ‘Madness is God’ is simply where it is at. The groove, the rhythm, the abstract transitions. It’s a fitting representation and a determined moment.
‘Ecstatic Trance’ does seem to blend into itself at times. The songs, in both tempo and composition, are very similar to the next. Thankfully, where indifference is often created, the full-length remains decisive. ‘Empty Form’ has a melodic undercurrent, with ‘The Blues’, like the track name suggests, slower than predecessor songs.
The album does suffer from periods of disinterest. There are a few songs that miss the mark. Nothing too concerning when it’s all pieced together though.
A harsh judge might assert that ‘Ecstatic Trance’ doesn’t succeed ‘Iron Gag’. And to be honest, the record probably doesn’t. But the impression and reception from this album is still positive.
You can be quiet achievers without actually being quiet at all. A Life Once Lost are deliberate and care little for much else. Despite its bland moments, ‘Ecstatic Trance’ is a good return. Maybe not the greatest point in the catalogue, but still very enticing.
3.Madness is God
9.I See, I Hear
10.I Sit Ill