Path of the Wolf [demo]

Lucifugum - Path of the Wolf [demo] ©1996 Oriana Productions
1. On Search of My Soul
2. Bringing Down the Rain
3. The Mysterious Garden (Hymn to the Black Art)
4. The Sabbath
5. Wolves...

As part of the Ukrainian black metal scene, Lucifugum's noteriety could easily be traced to some of their associations, as they were pals with such acts as Nokturnal Mortum and Hate Forest. Naturally, as with most of these bands, Lucifugum cultivated a mysterious, "KVLT" aura about themselves. Their earliest work tends to be the more accessible to the outside world, as they used English song titles and album names. And much like their buddies Nokturnal Mortum, their demos were fairly interesting instances of symphonic black metal.

Path of the Wolf was released as a demo tape in 1996 and also served as part of a split with the aforementioned Nokturnal Mortum. The five songs here are very much in step with Nokturnal Mortum's sound around the Lunar Poetry era, although Lucifugum tended to veer away from the synthetic layering that typlified Nokturnal Mortum's early outings. Path of the Wolf features songs that would not sound out of place for some of the Cacophonous Records' roster. Keyboards provide a melodic undercurrent to the black metal standard sound, with a heavily distorted, dirty bass guitar adding some grit. Lucifugum's songwriting at this point is fairly solid for a demo level band, though this demo isn't likely to contend for "Release of the Year" for 1996. Fortunately for Lucifugum, it is interesting enough to warrant further exploration of the band's recorded output.

This demo is definitely of interest to fans of Nokturnal Mortum's pre-philosophical lunacy era (Lunar Poetry and Goat Horns) as they share a similar take on black metal. Lucifugum apparently would drift away from Nokturnal Mortum's sphere of influence in later years, but at this point, these two bands cannot be discussed apart from one another. This demo was later paired with another early demo release on Instinct Prevelance.

Review by John Chedsey

Review date: 08/2009

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