Gilded Lily- “L’Acéphale”

Gilded Lily- "L'Acephale"

While I frequently have the good fortune of using Black Metal & Brews to bring the hard work of independent artists to light, it’s rare that I can say I’m doing it while also helping another music writer whose support and hard work has pushed me to improve upon my own efforts. With Gilded Lily, Andrew Helinski of the not-so prolific (but high quality) blog Western Lamb finds himself stepping out from behind the keyboard and into the position of frontman. This trio’s first offering, L’Acéphale is not just the beginning of this band’s work, but is also scheduled to be the debut cassette release for Helinski’s new label, Lion’s Jawbone.


I’ve always feared that, should I make music, it would be torn apart and viewed as a summary of the things I’ve championed the most frequently on this site. While Helinski’s tastes are worn on his sleeve in his writing, Gilded Lily’s L’Acéphale is self-sufficient. Perhaps this is due to the collaborative nature of things, but the bizarre form of death and black  metal these three create is not easy to define as a byproduct of influences. Instead of something one can pinpoint with genre tags, Gilded Lily offers up four tracks of lurching and unpredictable weight, with clipped, poetic lyrics that push the band out of the murk and into a more thoughtful space.

Admittedly, sometimes the vocal phrasing can feel a bit confusing and they can be placed a bit too high in the mix, but the listening experience is hardly dampened by this oddity. If anything, it will appeal to those looking for an unconventional experience. While the warmth of synths ushers in the album on “Clasped Hands,” it’s one of the only peaceful moments in Gilded Lily’s uncertain world. While the band has tagged their music as black metal on bandcamp, it seems to be culled equally from death metal and the harsh punk of acts like Bone Awl as it does from any sort of black metal influence, along with semi-frequent bursts of electronic fuzz that are equally soothing and chaotic, depending on placement and timeliness. L’Acéphale is destined for release on cassette in the near future, so keep an eye out. For now, enjoy this as a free download and get seriously pensive while you try to keep up.