Kenya’s pioneer metal group Last Year’s Tragedy today released their long-awaited full-length album. But as fans now lap up their latest offering, it seems the wait isn’t out of place for pioneer bands. Fans of Tunisia’s pioneering power metal group Carthagods had to wait over fifteen years for the band’s self-titled debut. For LYT this album couldn’t have arrived at a more opportune moment.
Amongst Lions is a follow up to the band’s 2013 EP Challenge Accepted. It is hard to point to another 5 song EP but had a greater impact. As an introduction to Last Year’s Tragedy, it surpassed those demands, and in many respects it kind of functions as a compelling work of its own. It was a treasure trove of some of the heaviest breakdowns, catchy melodies, and fidelity to the artistic style when it came to songwriting. But aside from being similar as far as things like the obvious aesthetical and conceptual cues it takes from the 2013 record, this full-length offering grows on you with each subsequent listen.
The singles that were released prior to this album like Perihellion, Mammoth and Pounds for Flesh seem to stand head and shoulders above any sort of estimation we gave them prior to listening to this record. As part of the album, these singles seem more consequential, immediate, and even genius.
Last Year’s Tragedy’s inspirational motifs are in abundant supply here. Techniques and stylistic devices that they spawned in 2013 find their truest blossoming in this record with the EP functioning as an extended prologue and this album being the body and substance of LYT’s sound.
Nevertheless, there are countless ventures into the unknown which opens the eyes of the audience to the band members’ vulnerable side like never before. But the most impressive and perhaps unexpected detour to new heights comes in the form of a collaborative effort that features another Andromeda Studios stalwart Rish in the song “Intercessor” which functions not only to unravel the notion of what it’s sound is but at the same time expounding upon an already very convincing repertoire of heavenly sounds.