ALBUM REVIEW: Lord Dying- Clandestine Transcendence

It was back in 2019 when we last saw a release from Portland, Oregon’s own Lord Dying. The album in question being Mysterium Tremendum proved to show a widening in their sound with an ever increased air and nod to progressive rock alongside their more notable sludge elements, as well as a narrative which includes a large focus on the notion of death, mortality and questions around these.

Four years later, events of the world have hardly made this subject matter any less focused in people’s minds and certainly not in the band, as latest album Clandestine Transcendence (MNRK Heavy) continues with this overarching narrative, as well as a continuation on their ever-expansive song writing.

Clandestine Transcendence largely conveys a bleak landscape, however its use of heaviness with progressive rock does offer some counteraction between the desolate and the more hopefulness throughout. As powerful statements, the opening title of “The Universe Is Weeping” has a poignant message and showcases this palette from the offset. It builds from a near folksy ambience toward a more overtly Heavy Metal style riff, with a closing vocal refrain standing alone and conveying a message of being directionless. 

“I Am Nothing I Am Everything” is a slower but pummelling affair with a muggier guitar tone and the use of comparatively piercing guitar leads in the mix. The following “Unto Becoming” moves with an increased urgency and changes up Erik Olsen’s vocal approach with chant-like clean vocals alongside the gravelly, harsh tones.

This vocal range similarly appears on the more melodic and hook laden “Dancing On The Emptiness”, which contrasts its music styling to the morose in its lyrical content. Where this duality spreads across much of the album, “Swimming In The Absence” is undoubtedly sorrowful and brooding, and one of the album’s most powerful moments.

Compared to a lot of their sludge peers, in particular those who have also leaned towards progressive rock territory, Lord Dying have perhaps been an overlooked name to many. However, it is clear they are a formidable entity in that arena and one that offers a great emotional resonance at times as well. 

Buy the album here:

7 / 10