Exclusive: black/doom dreadmongers Lychgate unveil a nightmarish new vision

Lychgate promo pic 2018, by Damian Hovhannisyan
(Image credit: Damian Hovhannisyan)

Hailing from Birmingham, but clearly inhabiting some terrifying shadow realm where the Bullring is actually one of the deeper rungs of Hades, Greg Chandler is the instigator of long-running funeral doom ghouls Esoteric. Lovers off all things cavernous and soul-leeching must have thanked their rancid stars when he teamed up with The One drummer Vortigern when the latter founded Lychgate.

A product of deeply diseased minds - including members of Ancient Ascendant and Macabre Omen - this whorl of gothic-but-not-in-any-way-that-you-could-possibly-have-imagined black metal and cavernous doom is about to unveil its third album, The Contagion In Nine Steps, via Blood Music on March 30, and we have an exclusive first glimpse into its abyss in the eerily immersive form of its opening track, Republic.

Based around Plato’s imagined, philosopher king-ruled utopia, Kallipolis, Republic sounds anything but. Its opening stabs of diabolical organ only giving way to stumbling beats and sickly glistening, spidery riffs before leading you through a haunted house of impossible dimensions. At once imperious and petrifying, its tale of the corrupting nature of human consciousness is woven around nightmare atmospherics from which there is no route back.

Republic” explains Vortigern, “is the intro track of the album. Organ introduces a rhythmic/percussive motif that continues throughout, ending in a frenzied conclusion as the track draws to an end. Lyrically it also sets the stage for the album’s idea of the contagion and the crowd throughout history, beginning here with Plato.”

So remove yourself from the madding crowd, realise with abject horror that the madness lies within and find not even one crumb of comfort as you enter the unfathomable realms of Republic below!

Visit Lychgate’s Facebook page here

And pre-order The Contagion In Nine Steps here!

Jonathan Selzer

Having freelanced regularly for the Melody Maker and Kerrang!, and edited the extreme metal monthly, Terrorizer, for seven years, Jonathan is now the overseer of all the album and live reviews in Metal Hammer. Bemoans his obsolete superpower of being invisible to Routemaster bus conductors, finds men without sideburns slightly circumspect, and thinks songs that aren’t about Satan, swords or witches are a bit silly.