Luctus is a man-band from Lithuania with later residence in Italy who nonetheless touts its patriotism. The act was formed in 2001. 2003’s The Dawn Ov The Eclipsed Desperation followed the 2002 demo My Sorrow In The Lifeless Landscapes. More demos followed until the band appeared on a split record with Argharus in 2007 through Ledo Takas Records. Only 1313 copies were supposedly printed. Jaučiant Pabaigą Arti (Feeling The End Is Near) was the title for the new album and the band’s debut full-length for Ledo Takas Records.
LUCTUS/ARGHARUS - SONITUS CAELI ARDENTIS Split CD - LEDO TAKAS
I feel like such an ignoramus writing a review on two bands whose names and album title means nothing to me. The groups sharing this disc hail from Lithuania and play evil death metal. Luctus is a one-man project, while Argharus features four individuals. Neither band is directly comparable to the bigger names of the scene as far as sound or style in concerned. While both bands have all the ingredients that are necessary, evil vocals, speedy tempos, rapid rhythm changes and more, the fans will not be pointing at a song or passage as being copied from other groups. Certainly, names like Gorgoroth, early Borknagar or Marduk are relevant, but strictly as a genre.
Like many bands from Eastern Europe Luctus sings of war, nationalism and all that. The band also seems to use drum machines for obvious reasons. Argharus and its lyrics will remain a mystery to me, and anybody else, who has less than a commanding mastery of Lithuanian. Argharus’ side ends with a rare bass solo.
Both bands are intense and completely capable. The black metal cult has fresh blood. - Anna Tergel
LUCTUS - JAUČIANT PABAIGĄ ARTI – LEDO TAKAS
Admittedly, the high score for this album is partly owing to the titles and lyrics being Lithuanian. Were they in English, and hence comprehensible, to this writer the album’s grade would likely be lower. Nationalism, jingoism and similar ignorance are anathema to the spirit of heavy metal and, it is a good guess that, Luctus has plenty of it. In fact, the biography points to the “patriotic” lyrics. Having said that, here are two reasons why Jauciant Pabaiga Arti ('feeling the end is near') deserves praise. Firstly, past the intro and outro and predicated on how in this sub-genre the words are rarely intelligible, the album skips the whole Lithuanian folk instrument and melody trend. It is hardly an exclusively Lithuanian problem, but every wanna-be nation’s bands seems to wallow in inserting local folklore into heavy metal. In other words, these Lithuanian/Maldavian/Israeli/Finnish/Romanian/huckledydakeldy poseurs insist on inserting a square peg into a round hole. Luctus skips that whole nonsense musically. Secondly, the music is tight, extreme, genuinely powerful and crushing in its own right. With hoarse and deadly vocals built-in, Luctus is a mixture of Impiety and Impaled Nazarene with Kreator’s most extreme lead guitars thrown in for good measure. A nod should also go to the band’s bass guitar sound. Your average Pantera/Dimmu Borgir fan-girl will die listening to this. Great stuff!
The package is well designed and probably full of Lithuanian war imagery and other things one can ignore, the music is fierce and any local village melodies disguised in the distortive power and the vocals are hysterical and extreme to boot. And not a single Lute to be heard. - Ali “The Metallian”