Normally with anything related to black metal members do indeed “lurk”, hiding themselves behind initials, numerals or names from wizards, demons, or mythical figures. Not so here and it is actually kind of refreshing to welcome an artist from Strasbourg going by the name Mick! There are others helping out in these dense compositions and providing vocal contributions and they are from bands such as End Of Mankind, Pyrecult, Paramnesia and LDMA but this trip is mainly the work of the one man who has no shortage of ideas.

Consisting of seven tracks we enter at the 11 minute ‘Rupture’ and are quickly immersed in a voyage of cold, atmospheric blackness. From a gloomy opening, the door on the cover of the album artwork is opened and we venture through its portal into a harsh clamouring void. Vocals yell, drums bruise and a barraging pace is focussed upon, everything harsh and combative in the mix but with plenty of slower motions within the framework to give you suitable time to gaze through into the chasm. Apparently the album’s narrative focuses on mankind taking us on a journey through anxiety and pain something unfortunately that many of us in this tense world live with on a daily basis. Perhaps the Rupture in question starts a downward plummet of the mind and the tempered blasting parts merge well with moments of calm and fragility as it all gradually unravels. Feral vocals have a wretched and angry cry of contempt and pain about them and it’s probably a place where those who “think” that all is well in their world would choose to avoid. They too will not escape and maybe that is where second track ‘Judgement’ comes into play. From a sense of foreboding things leap up and it feels like velocity is increased tenfold. Musically this has the charge of Altar Of Plagues about it and vocally I am reminded of another chap with unassuming name of Tim as they are very reminiscent of the likes of Austere etc and a certain Mr Yatras. There’s stacks of force and power and it really is like being caught in the eye of a hurricane, the spiralling guitars its very vortex. Massive backing vocals leap out and things roar forth literally taking your head off. This Judgement has been harsh! Utter savagery proves that ‘Ethereal Hands’ are far from ethereal, stabbing and slashing away at the mind with guitars like locusts picking at the bits and destroying the already fragile psyche. It’s all suitably massive and the production powerful as it wrecks and ravages everything. It’s also impossible not to become completely involved as slower parts wrap themselves around and a dense suffocating chokehold clogs the senses.

‘Reborn’ offers some respite and is a short instrumental piece which has a sci-fi sort of vibe and kind of reminds a bit of the spacey atmospherics of Vangelis soundtrack from Blade Runner. It’s a moment of calm before ‘No Way Out From Mankind’ batters in and summons a destructive rage that leaves you feeling that you could easily murder the world due to a bit of a swaggering blood-red mist of jubilation coursing through it. I could take you right to the end of this journey but some things are best left to discover for yourself, besides you should by now have a clear idea what to expect from Time Lurker.

Essentially a debut album this has stormed out of nowhere and really created a big impact hole. Congratulations for welcoming us to your world Mick, it was certainly one I felt I could both comprehend and totally lose myself within.

(8/10 Pete Woods)