Sunday, December 4, 2011

Record Review: LIGEIA "Welcome to Palm City" (self-released)

Ligeia return after a two-year hiatus and they choose the most direct way to reach their fans: by offering them their new record for free download. No record labels or other merchants in between, just the band and the listener. I personally support this DIY attitude! This is also why I got into this review. According to Keith Holuk (singer), this decision was a present to all the kids that supported them throughout the years. The download file contains also a booklet with cover, lyrics, photos and info. Thumbs up!

Ligeia was formed in Massachusetts, USA back in 2003. The group has 2 records with Ferret Music under its belt, 2006’s Your Ghost is a Gift and Bad News released in 2008. We are talking about a very experienced band that has managed to play over 600 shows in a 2-year period between 2006 and 2009! That is to say they have the attitude of spreading their music by playing all over the place wherever they can, which is respectable.

The EP kicks in quite fast and hard without wasting any moment. During the first half a minute of ‘Simulated Drowning’ there is a newschool melodic hardcore passage ala Ruiner/Modern Life Is War.  Soon after different aspects of their music are coming into surface like the standard modern metalcore vocal ranges (from pop punk to distorted screams). I need to mention the nice rocking riff at 01:20 leading to a breakdown. The song closes with a dramatic hardcore melody and some poppy vocals on top. The second number ‘Two Weeks Notice’ is more typical metalcore style but has a drunken rocking touch that reminds a bit of Every Time I Die.

Welcome to Palm City contains some memorable songs like the ‘Vodka Demon’ (with guest vocals from Drew York of Stray from the Path) or moments like the driving riff at the beginning of ‘Lie To Me’. The production is neat and clean by Jay DeLuca at The Bear’s Den studio and delivers what Ligeia wants, albeit it does not manage to move much from the standard. Especially the rhythm section has the modern cliché plastic sound, although the musicianship is quite accomplished. However, there is more stand out work on the guitars, they have an exceptionally versatile sound that is less distorted and more rocking in comparison.

Overall, this EP kept me hooked throughout the listen, although I am not too much in this type of hardcore music. It marks some progress for the band since their last effort Bad News: they sound more ‘mature’, with improved guitar work and more serious lyrics. What makes a difference with the rest of this overpopulated scene is the honesty of the band and their more melodic hardcore approach. At least, I prefer this EP than the new super-selling overproduced metalcore stars The Devil Wears Prada or Asking Alexandria not to mention Design The Skyline, who are all drenched in synths that remind impoverished black metallers like Dimmu Borgir.   

I am thankful to Ligeia for sharing these 20 minutes of music with us! You can have it yourself here:

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