Young formation Lifestream hail from the Bordeaux era, one of my preferred regions when talking about rich French wines: Saint-Estèphe, Margaux, Pomerol. But this isn’t an oenological essay but a (serious) review on the band’s first official release, called Post Ecstatic Experience. The band consists of members from e.g. Demented and Otargos and they recorded (+ mixed and mastered) this debut at the Darkened Studio. Emanations, a sub-division of Les Acteurs De L’Ombre Productions (click on the label’s name to read more reviews on their stuff), took care of the release on tape on April 9th 2015 (in an edition limited to 100 copies), and on December 15th 2015 the CD-version was released. The latter has two additional tracks (therefor it clocks over an hour of length), and the order is different from the cassette edition.
When listening to the (short) opener Introspective Maze, label colleagues The Great Old Ones immediately come to mind, and then I am referring to the overpowering harshness of the material in combination with the asphyxiating Lovecraftian occult atmosphere. However, this must be coincidental, for as from the second song, An Unfathomable Dereliction, on, the approach bands over towards a rather primal, fast-paced form of timeless Black Metal. And despite a clear vision on how to go, on where to go, there is quite some variety, there are quite some extras throughout the composition. I can mention the fine changes in tempo, with energetic parts and slow passages, sometimes even hypnotically doomy; I can talk about the few dreamy keyboard additions that drench the whole in a mystic fog; I can make a reference to the Post-Black tremolo leads that smoothly copulate with the intensity of the Nineties’ attitude; I will have to mention the grim and raw yet mostly decent sound quality, including the quasi-perfect mix (‘quasi’, and now I might be nagging, but the details from the rhythm section, especially the bass lines, might have been exposed little more prominently). I can go on for quite some time. But that isn’t enough, for the song writing at the one hand, and the performance at the other, need to be of qualitative satisfaction as well. But believe me if I pretend that this… Damn, what am I doing?... This is a release on Ecstatic / Les Acteurs De L’Ombre Productions, so it’s quite evident that the result is above expectations!
As a matter of fact, there are so many details of high level that are integrated in a total experience. But it’s like a high-tech machine, which needs a perfected-equilibrium aggregation in order to extract the best results out of the individual parts. Here the machine creates the most attractive products. It’s seductive, and not once there is any possibility of boredom, despite the lengthy experience (two tracks clock over ten minutes). Moreover, full-lengthy tracks like Two Faces impress minute after minute, second after second. Those epics aren’t just attractive; they’re at least as intriguing and impressing.