Lucid Conformity
Architects of Madness

I’m not sure what to make of the U.K.’s Lucid Conformity and their debut album, Architects of Madness. While it’s definitely not a bad album per se, I’m not willing to throw out heaps of praise or vital recommendations for it either. The fact that the group/duo employs more than a few, i.e. way too many, stylistic metal genres into their sound seems to be the foundation of my frustration with the band. Sure, mixing and blending styles and genres is nothing new. Hell, it’s actually a blessing and a sure fire way to keep things fresh and interesting when done right; though the saying “less is more” should always be remembered, and in many cases, utilized.

Lucid Conformity seemingly throws everything they like about and listen to in heavy music into the mixing pot. The result is seven tracks in about thirty-three minutes that do seem to have something for the majority of metalheads. Sometimes it works quite well, sometimes it’s too convoluted, most of the time it’s both in the same track. It’s as if the band can’t decide if they want to follow the path of Hatebreed, Shadows Fall/God Forbid, Fear Factory, Slayer, or All Shall Perish.

Outside of needing some good workout/weight lifting jams, I’m not sure how often I will be apt to return to Architects of Madness. Having said that, I do enjoy their take of that turn of the century time when metalcore, deathcore, and the NWOAHM were all still lying in the same bed together. Though while there are no stinkers to be found amongst A.o.M., there aren’t really any true stand outs either. I will say I found “Man Made Messiah” and “World Eater” to be a bit more intriguing with their inclusion of some more “soulful”, shall we say, clean vocals amongst the core-ish beatdowns. Resonating  with an air reminiscent of Danzig or The Cult, both tracks come off very much in the vein of the underated Christian metal/hardcore act, Sinai Beach. Even though I dig the Fear Factory meets Sinai Beach, wrapped in an Extol-ish character, in the sounds of “World Eater”, ultimately, points are deducted for tricking me into thinking I was about to get a cover of one of my favorite Bolt Thrower songs…Shame on you Lucid Conformity.

While overall succesful, a tad more streamlining in placement and presentation of said clean vocals, could really be a massive selling point, so to speak, within the band’s material. Also worth mentioning is the guitar leads/solo work of  Tom Clark. They’re strong, fluid, take charge, and command attention. Sometimes they’re wild and Slayer-y, other times they’re more melodic and stirring; hell, in album opener, “Spoils of the Bloodthirsty”, the man straight up channels vibes of David Blomqvist (Dismember), which is never a bad thing in my book. Mixed with the albeit convoluted, yet ultimately inpressive vocal stylings of Dale Lindsdell, and there is actually quite a lot Lucid Conformity has got going for themselves. If they would ditch the kitchen sink and focus on their strengths, the band could probably go much further in their budding career.

As it stands, the duo of L.C. have crafted a pretty decent debut album in Architects of Madness. While too busy at times for its own good, admittedly, A.o.M. has grown on me through the repeated listenings I’ve given it for review. If you’re open-minded with a taste for a little bit of everything from Hatebreed, Slayer, Fear Factory, DevilDriver, Malevolent Creation, All Shall Perish, Still Remains, Sinai Beach, God Forbid, Extol, and Shadows Fall (gotta say, Architects of Madness reminds me heavily of Shadows Fall‘s Of One Blood album in more than a few ways), then Architects of Madness and Lucid Conformity are most likely an album and band that you can get on board with. Yeah, it’s a little overstuffed and isn’t anything you haven’t heard before, but it’s far from being a bad album. Like with many a debut, the band and album both just need to iron out a few more wrinkles.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Kristofor Allred
June 12th, 2020

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