Tankcrimes is pleased to unveil a limited edition vinyl reissue of Hollow Psalms, the debut full-length from San Francisco cult progressive black metal outfit, LUDICRA, on December 8th.
Forged on Halloween 1998, LUDICRA surfaced from the minds of Hammers Of Misfortune guitarist John Cobbett and former Hickey drummer Aesop Dekker. The pair envisioned a raw and primal black metal band. With the addition of bassist/vocalist Jesika Christ, formerly of Sangre Amado, and guitarist/vocalist Christy Cather, LUDICRA was realized.
The first LUDICRA lineup debuted in February of 1999 with critical and public praise, creating an immediate San Francisco Bay Area following. Several months later, Christ left LUDICRA. Bassist Ross Sewage of Impaled and lead vocalist Laurie Sue Shanaman, formerly of Tallow, joined the group. They evolved their sound beyond the usual confines of black metal to emphasize elements of harsh reality and modern despair.
The band’s now-iconic debut, Hollow Psalms – a burley, fifty-minute eight-song masterwork — was initially released in 2002 on Bay Area label Life Is Abuse. Hollow Psalms was showcased live all along the West Coast, as LUDICRA shared the stage with the likes of High On Fire, Nunslaughter, Damad, Amber Asylum, Agalloch, and Kylesa. They also headlined the 2002 SF Tidal Wave Festival, won the prestigious SF Weekly Best Hard Rock/Metal Band Award in 2003, played at the 2003 Seattle LadyFest, and the fifth Stoner Hands Of Doom festival. Numerous national magazines and taste maker webzines at the time covered the rise of LUDICRA, including Metal Maniacs, Terrorizer, Maximum Rock & Roll, Short Fast And Loud, and Bay Area Buzz.
With songs that were “complex, moody, darkly psychedelic, and post-rocky” (Aquarius Records), LUDICRA somehow managed to maintain the mystical, evocative nature of the best black metal in its depictions of harsh reality. All Music hailed an “emotional, often sad and despairing album,” further elaborating on the release, “Hollow Psalms breathes some new life into the old straightforward, guitar-based black metal style à la Gorgoroth, Darkthrone, or earlier Dodheimsgard. It combines a punk rock type of directness with the mysterious feel of that type of black metal (i.e. lots of ambiguous guitar harmonies and cold, repetitive minor-key guitar melodies), while also adding some other twists. The dual lead vocals of Laurie Sue Shanaman and Christy Cather consist mainly of intense shrieks and growls and sound scary at times, bucking the trend of female vocals in black metal being gothy and pretty. Meanwhile, the bass and drums, without being slick or over-produced, are still well recorded, as opposed to the old black metal cliché of distant, barely audible bass and drums that sound like paper bags… Hollow Psalms is artful without being pretentious…” Wrote CBS News San Francisco recently, “Typical of the wide-ranging sounds featured in Cobbett’s other projects, the album drew elements of thrash, doom, and prog into LUDICRA‘s ambitious, avant-garde style of black metal.”
Tankcrimes will reissue Hollow Psalms as a one-time, 2xLP vinyl-only pressing limited to 1000 copies on the following color variants: Black (150), Red w/ Splatter (350), and Crystal Clear with Splatter (500).
Find preorders at the Tankcrimes webshop at THIS LOCATION.
Hollow Psalms Track Listing:
- Tomorrow Held In Scorn
- Hollow Promise
- The Final Lamentation
- Heaped Upon Impassive Floors
- Damn The Night
- Awake To Grey