Academic, apocalyptic black metal unit Lychgate returns with their third and most mature work to date. The Contagion in Nine Steps showcases the group's scholarly exploration of crowd psychology from a philosophical and historical point-of-view. Utilizing the band's trademark black metal/funeral doom crossover and adding in compositional elements reminiscent of the 20th century avant garde, there truly is no equal for Lychgate's sound.
One of the hidden gems of the UK extreme metal scene, the band continues to push its arcane darkness forward, casting off a large amount of its opulent organ work in favor of eternally reverberating guitars and extra clean vocal lines, giving the perspective of a Satanic performance in a grand and opulent hall. The album's general themes are inspired by swarm behavior exhibited by the machines in Stanisław Lem's book The Invincible, as well as through Plato's, Hegel's, Le Bon's, and Canetti's ideas on civilization, consciousness, and crowd psychology.
Featuring key members of The One, Esoteric, and Macabre Omen, The Contagion in Nine Steps is one of the most musically accomplished albums to recently come from the confines of the conservative black metal scene. Breaking every rule while managing to bridge the depths of Hell with glimpses of the effervescence of Heaven.