Following his return to live performance over the past year, Brian Lustmord’s increased activity shows no sign of slowing down. He has clearly been spending some time in the dusty vaults below Castle Lustmord rummaging for lost treasures and well-matured morsels to toss to his hungry followers. Last year’s Heretic was a fascinating alternative version of his classic 1990 album Heresy and now further exhumations bring us Songs of Gods and Demons.On the face of it, the album is a rag bag collection of bits and pieces – mostly commissioned “day-job” music from Lustmord’s alter ego Brian Williams, featuring work for various films, TV shows and video games. What promises to be an interesting stopgap release however, turns out to far more, thanks to Lustmord having reworked all the material into a cohesive album that belies its disparate sources. Presumably intended as a low-key bonus release for dedicated fans, Songs of Gods and Demons actually serves as a pretty neat entry point for newcomers wishing to venture into the deep recesses of the Lustmord labyrinth. The collection provides a fairly good cross-section of the various areas he has explored over the years and manages to pull off the rare trick of being both accessible and uncompromising.
Brian’s Hollywood scores generally deliver far more than their associated movies deserve, opening track “Corvus Mysterium” being a case in point. “Original material later developed for a movie in 1994 and its sequel in 1996” (the title gives a clue), the full 16 minute Lustmord version combines his classic Ninth Circle of Hell subterranean ambience with hints of ethnically tinged instrumentation and mournful vocal echoes to chilling effect. Having never actually played a video game, I have no idea as to what role music/sound plays in them, but “Neural Ether” is certainly more than capable of standing on its own feet away from its associated game. Over twenty minutes of tension and foreboding, it rumbles along at a glacial pace – Mr Lustmord’s general tempo of choice – becoming almost suffocating by the end.“The Blasted Plain” is another lengthy piece, associated with Lustmord’s sound design for prog-metal giants Tool’s Vicarious DVD and unsurprisingly recalls the great remixes that he did for the group at the time. The two ‘short’ tracks on the album (both over eight minutes) almost provide light relief, showcasing Lustmord’s seldom heard melodic and rhythmic sides. “Haze” and “Vault” rework elements from a 2002 movie and 2001 TV show respectively and are both possess an icy sepulchral beauty.
Lustmord seems to already have more archive releases on the way – next up being a deluxe double vinyl issue of 1992’s Monstrous Soul, supplemented with live recordings taken from his fantastic return to live performance at last year’s Unsound Festival in Krakow. Looking forward to that!