We love to tick new countries off the new music map and today we’re able to add Romania to this fairly lengthy list. Our first taste of Romanian music is the intriguingly dark and heavy yet deliciously catchy sound of Cluj-Napoca band Lurker In Light.
We were immediately hooked on their sound, then they jokingly referred to it as “True Transylvanian Blackened Depressive Melodic Death Metal.” So we were duty-bound to find out more.
In reality, the band fuse chugging riffs and wandering licks with black and death metal vocals, which frontman Eligos tells us is because “I can’t sing so we’re overcompensating.”
Lurker In Light released their fourth single Defaced at the start of last month and it’s deliciously intense. It opens up with fun darting guitars under creepy growled vocals, then the intensity increases a notch with huge pounding drums in a dark yet melodic mass of black metal.
It eventually slows down with drawn-out guitars over doomy drums, then launches back into the creepy vocals over the darting guitar riff. The guitars then takeover with heavy drums, then feed into a cool little meandering guitar solo. That feeds into a return of the heavy vocals and flickering guitars. Give it a listen below:
We had a chat with the guys to find out more about them and get some insight into Romanian music. Read on below…
GR: Who are Lurker In Light?
LIL: “Lurker in Light is currently comprised of two people writing music from a living room studio. As for the name, we’ve taken the Be’lakor approach and opened a Pathfinder Bestiary book.”
GR: You just released Defaced. What should people be expecting from the song? What inspired you to write it?
LIL: “On the lyrical side, the song is our first attempt to bring back a darker theme based on ancient practices, rather than the day-to-day struggle, invoked by our previous songs. Musically though, the release is in line with our style, best described as classic melodeath with a touch of black metal. Although there’s an abundance of darkness in metal music, we hope to prove that light can be equally terrifying.”
GR: We’ve never covered any Romanian bands before. What’s the Romanian music scene like?
LIL: “The scene is supported by a handful of festivals organized each year. This is tough for us, since we currently don’t have a complete live band. While we can’t complain that the Romanian metal scene is lacking talent, there aren’t many other death metal bands around. Historically, our country has been really good at representing folk and black metal, with bands like Negura Bunget and GOD being the most influential examples.”
GR: How would you describe your sound to people that haven’t listened to you yet?
LIL: “More or less as a joke, we’ve labeled our sound as True Transylvanian Blackened Depressive Melodic Death Metal. Seriously speaking, we tend to keep more extreme elements like blast beats and chuggy riffs compared to what people generally describe as melodeath. We’ve made a habit of using a wide range of vocal styles from the black and death metal area. In other words, I can’t sing so we’re overcompensating.”
GR: What influences you to write music? Any key themes or topics that you write about?
The complexity of human emotions. If any of our songs comes off as a sad one, a happy one, an angry one, or anything between these lines, we would consider it a failure. The beauty does not reside in one idea or one solitary feeling. Nature also happens to be a huge influence, we couldn’t call ourselves a Romanian band without making that statement.
GR: Which bands/musicians are/have been your strongest musical influences?
LIL: “I swear we weren’t trying to rip off the album cover of a very popular new release, we just happened to comission the artwork before they revealed it. Anyhow, our biggest influence is the band Insomnium. We also draw inspiration from regular death metal bands like Six Feet Under.”
GR: What have you got coming up in 2020?
LIL: “We’re going to release an EP called “Acumen of Joyful Sorrow” made of all of our single releases up to this point, plus one or two completely new songs. They will go through some re-recording and remastering, since we are continuously trying to improve our production. We are also actively looking to put together a live band.”
GR: Anything else you’d like people to know about you/your music?
LIL: “We encourage listeners to have opinions. Don’t say something just because you have to. We are pretty old school, so we truly appreciate any comments, criticism or feedback about the songs, although it seems like a dying art within the community.”