Predatory Light- “MMXIV”

Predatory Light

Last year I was fortunate enough to catch the mighty Predatory Light on their first west coast tour. In my rather glowing review, it was evident I was more than impressed with how their demo material translated into a cohesive live set. With Pesanta Urfolk‘s impending 10″ vinyl release of Predatory Light’s first demo, MMXIV, it’s about time I give this act’s recorded material a proper review. With this release, let’s hope that this Seattle-based act (due to a recent relocation from New Mexico) will add to its discography soon.

With MMXIV, the first of two demo releases from Predatory Light, the world has been granted a brief glance at something equally familiar and new to fans of extreme music.  Two separate pressings of this release sold out in the blink of an eye, and with good reason. From obvious nods to the transcendent experimental doom of diSEMBOWELEMENT to pure, ferocious black psychedelia, Predatory Light is an act in a constant state of violent transition. Icy, desolate guitars cut through a density of crashing cymbals and cavernous, distorted vocals in a way that highlight’s Predatory Light’s strong sense of melody without reducing the commitment to creating a smothering atmosphere. It’s of note, too, that the production is crisp and pronounced, yet the band’s sound is enlarged without being cleaned up.

If the songwriting seems like that of a more established act, it’s likely due to the members’ current and prior involvement in highly potent acts like Drought or Ash Borer. While Predatory Light’s bassist is a former member of Anhedonist, he was not an active member during this recording, although it’ll be interesting to see how his doom pedigree adds to Predatory Light’s already suffocating sounds. It’s also worth noting how expressive and militaristic the drumming on this release is, as the use of toms and light cymbal work to break up otherwise chaotic and straight-forward sections is really dazzling. In all, it’s clear that these fellows are more than capable and one can only imagine how massive this will sound on wax with the right system.

I’ll be catching Predatory Light later this month and will hopefully be able to say that they’re just as potent as ever. For those who aren’t fortunate enough to live in the Pacific Northwest, order a copy of this album from Pesanta Urfolk and enjoy it in a candlelit room at night. It’s possibly even more addictive than I’m making it sound.