Review Summary: Albino de Congo fuses raw second wave black metal with jazz and tribal beats to produce one of the more unique metal albums of 2008.
are a crazy bunch. If you're reading this, though, you may already know that. "Albino de Congo ("white guy from Congo"?) is not easy to describe. Sure, this is nominally a black metal album, but during several extended jazz sequences, you'd be hard-pressed to tell. In fact, this is an album I'd almost be comfortable sharing with "normal" friends of mine.
Here, Lugubrum show a huge range of talent - they get the black metal, but more than that, it seems like they are trying to take the genre forward - much as Atheist did for death metal. Apparently, they went to the Republic of Congo before recording this, and the album definitely seems to have some African influences, including many of the drum beats and vocal samples. There are also some unusual instruments used, such as something called a thumb piano. The drumming, wihch includes almost tribal sounding blast beats, is simply sensational - and if nothing else gets you to audition this one, that alone should. Lugubrum are great at changing tempo, yet keeping the music rolling forward. There are passages where the Jaba-the-Hut-esque vocals are simply overlaid on top of caberet-ish jazz sessions - with nary a down-tuned guitar to be heard. But it's always really catchy - not depressive at all. At times, the vocal style borders on camp, but at least, it feels like the listener is in on the joke.
Have Lugubrum gone too far in this "alt" direction? Not yet. While the hipsters rave over the new Leviathan or Nachtmystium albums, "Albino de Congo" is the album that you should look for, if you desire something to shake you out of your normal routine - or perhaps, for once, a black metal album you can play in your car on a beautiful, sunny summer day on a winding country road. It's really that good.
**This is a modified version of a review originally written for Metal Archives.