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Album Review

San Francisco black metal band Ludicra stand out from their peers not just because of their membership — having women as lead vocalist and guitarist is rare in the genre — but also because of the adventurousness of their music. Without stretching black metal's parameters to the breaking point, they incorporate dissonance, progressive melodies, and a fuller sound than might be expected in a music known for its willful embrace of lo-fi recording and general primitivism. Ludicra have conventionally beautiful vocal harmonies backing the unearthly growls and howls, they double the electric guitars with jangling acoustic ones, and the drummer frequently abandons blastbeats for intricate patterns that wouldn't have seemed out of place on a prog rock album. Some songs, like "Clean White Void," are built around almost conventional hard rock riffs, and the solos are classically metallic in a Judas Priest/Iron Maiden vein. Of course, none of that should imply that they can't tear it up when they want to — album opener "Stagnant Pond" is quite pretty, but "A Larger Silence" is as ferocious as anything by Mayhem or Darkthrone. This dichotomy between savagery and refinement is at the core of Ludicra's music, and this disc is a peak for them.

Customer Reviews

The best of 2010 so far

This is an expertly written album. It's an intriguing mix of black metal inspired instrumentation with a 70's prog influence. Unlike some metal albums where it's hard to tell songs apart after the first listen, each song on The Tenant stands on it's own as a unique and memorable composition. Buy this album, and if you have the means to buy the actual cd because the artwork and packaging are very lush and worth the buy. Check out Profound Lore's other artists as well. For fans of: Weakling, Wolves In The Throne Room, Nachtmystium etc.


Probably one of the best and interesting black metal bands out there along with agalloch and funeral mist. The other reviewer put it perfectly saying that you can actually tell the songs apart. Memorable black metal is the best music out there and this is definitely some of the most memorable black metal i've ever heard. Definitely the best release of 2010 so far. I highly recommend it, and the best songs are stagnant pond and the undercaste.


What a fantastic album. Profound Lore knows how to pick 'em!


Formed: 1999 in San Francisco, CA

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '00s

The San Francisco-based quintet Ludicra specializes in straight-ahead black metal (i.e., no gothic keyboards, pagan folk influences, or electronic leanings) in a style influenced by bands such as Darkthrone, Gorgoroth, Dodheimsgard, and Bethlehem. The group formed in 1999 and consists of guitarist John Cobbett (Hammers of Misfortune and the Lord Weird Slough Feg), guitarist/vocalist Christy Cather, bassist Ross Sewage (also of Impaled and formerly of Exhumed), vocalist Laurie Sue Shanaman, and drummer...
Full Bio
Tenant, Ludicra
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Customer Ratings