LIFESTREAM - Post Ecstatic Experience (EMANATIONS Productions - CD 2015)
This is another release from LADLO Productions, this time from their sub label called Emanations, and it is a French band called Lifestream. They were formed really just a couple of years ago and only did one recording, which is this album titled “Post Ecstatic Experience”, released in December 2015. The artwork for this album reminds me actually another French band, Deathspell Omega from their “Fas - Ite, Maledicti, in Ignem Aeternum” LP, but it doesn’t matter. I don’t even think many people would notice this also?
To be honest with you, I kind of had problems with “Post Ecstatic Experience”. I played this album several times, but just couldn’t get into it properly. First time I played it I was distracted and couldn’t focus on the music properly. Few days later I played it again and again, but something wasn’t clicking here. I mean, my first thoughts on Lifestream were “well, it’s a decent album, this band is good, but I cannot say that it’s something what would really blow my mind off and intrigue me, make me want to come back to this album every now and then with passion and hunger”. And you know what? Again few days passed and my opinion didn’t change. Yes, “Post Ecstatic Experience” is a solid album, it delivers a good listen, but I cannot say that I feel intrigued and really obsessive about it. And I cannot even say why. “Post Ecstatic Experience” is surely a bit too long for me. This album is over 50 minutes long and the music gets a bit monotonous and one dimensional after a while, even if it’s not really, but the way Lifestream plays will make you feel that. But it would be unfair to call “Post Ecstatic Experience” a boring and unimpressive, because Lifestream has some great fragments and potential for sure. Yes, fragments, not necessarily the whole songs.
I definitely like how the band builds their music around harsh, raw sounding black metal mixed up with the dark, atmospheric stuff. There are many keyboards, not just used as a filler in the background, but often as a main part of the song. There are also some melodies, calmer pieces, and generally I must say that I like those atmospheric parts the most. They sometimes even remind me old Emperor, but obviously in much less exciting and blood freezing way. And on occasion, when Lifestream plays some faster shit, they even remind me some Mayhem, like in “Introspective Maze” for example, which is brilliant opener, or “Lifeless Solace”, which does sometimes sound like mid era Mayhem, minus the keyboards though (love the opening riffage in it!!!). “Sad Thoughts Overdose”, which is an instrumental song, is also among my favourites, it’s very nice melodic piece, which really stands out here, same as another instrumental song called “Banshee”.
So yes, definitely this album has many really fantastic fragments, but as a whole I kind of feel a bit tired with Lifestream formula for the music. I get lost in these long songs, I don’t think the band has enough great ideas to keep me personally interested through not just a ten minutes long composition, but through the whole fifty minutes long album. I can pick up a killer riff here, great idea or something else there, but hardly ever a whole piece. I don’t know if it’s just my personal impression or what… or maybe it’s just the fact that if there are so many truly killer black metal records released lately then something what is only solid can be just easily forgettable as well. “Post Ecstatic Experience” is still enjoyable, I’ve played in enough times to appreciate it… but I leave it to you to decide if Lifestream is worth anything more than that.
Standout tracks: “Introspective Maze”, “Lifeless Solace”, “Sad Thoughts Overdose”
Final rate: 69/100