Punk and Metal covers are back after a several month hiatus. This time around we have Lakei from Norway. A pretty obscure sludge metal band with some d-beat and punk hints to it. In my opinion they don’t get anywhere near as much attention as they deserve.
This album is soon to be released as a 12″ on Indie Recordings but as for now only the CD is available.
This project was a little bit delayed since I started working on the thumbnail sketches about two years ago and the album didn’t come out until this last summer, then of course my delayed blogging reaction made it so it’s finally online by almost 2013. All illustrations were done with pen and ink at first and color was put in digitally. The whole album’s concept is built around conspiracies hence the Album’s title Konspirasjoner. All songs are pretty political and the booklet comes with english translations since all lyrics are sang in Norwegian.
Lakei’s sound may be super dark though their message is a very conscious and hopeful one “Faces: Economics and financial loss is no justification for ignoring the destruction of our world and the pursuit of more sustainable solutions. The horrors are real. “Let’s find the key together” is one great example and also “Conspiracies: Since the dawn of man the masses have argued in confusion. Kings waged war to secure their lineage, guarding their own place at the table, building castles with the corpses of our children. Anarchy, transparency and accountability must reign.” Nowadays it’s hard to find bands that have lyrics with real meaning beyond being poetic and artistic, specially in the metal music scene singing about anything more than evil, death, Satan and suicide does not always have the warmest welcoming. So bands like Lakei that push forth through layers and layers of bullshit to deliver a good political and social message is always really exciting to me.
The band was moving towards the idea of having insects throughout the album, sort of coming out of a crypt. When I saw this awesome sketch that the band themselves drew and sent to get a picture of what they wanted something in my head clicked and I remembered walking on a hill in the outskirts of Mexico City and stumbling upon tons of broken mausoleums and tomb stones, further down there was several cows grazing, which noticed me and left right away, except one. The cow seemed to be laying on the grass and as strange as it may sound the ground around her was moving. By the time I got close to the cow I realized that the ground moving was actually millions of maggots that were feasting on her entrails but the fur and head were pretty intact for the most part. So long story short tomb stones and maggots replaced the insects. By now I’ve done a couple more illustrations for the band and maggots have become the trade mark.
Originally the cover was five hooded men carrying away a sixth one, but the band was so happy with the whole maggots and skulls idea that originally was intended to illustrate the inside of the booklet that they decided to just put that on the cover.
The music was recorded at Studio Fredman with Fredrik Nordström in Sweden, a legendary studio for the melodic Death Metal world having recorded bands such as At the Gates, Entombed and punk bands like Martyrdöd and Skitsystem. They even recorded Hammerfall! So give it a shot! This album is absolutely powerful and crushing. If you don’t like sludge metal this may be the one band that gets you into it.
Check out their Bandcamp here