Living Dust is a hard rock/metal outfit that originally formed in Christchurch, New Zealand upon graduating from high school at the turn of the millennium. Primarily comprised of Ricardo Livisone and Samuel Maloney, the third member has been ever-changing for this band.
They claim to be influenced by anything from “the lightest folk to the heaviest metal” which is clearly displayed through their consistent fluctuations between the soothing and the intense. Their latest release SImurgh is an eclectic grouping of eight songs and there is no doubt about that. Beginning as a jam band, Living Dust decided they wanted to become something more and they achieved that goal.
“Elemental Kiss” wastes no time introducing listeners to the electrifying sounds of Simurgh. Sounding as if classics along the lines of Iron Maiden and Led Zeppelin were run raw through a blender and infused with something entirely unique, Living Dust tears the paper off the walls in this riff-driven opener, boasting drums which throb relentlessly and guttural, yet somehow-melodic vocals. This key ingredient is lost in the writing process when it comes to so many other metal bands, but Living Dust blends the vocals and electrict very well.
“The Die Is Cast” teases a soothing, gentle opener, before exploding one again into distorted power chords and crashing drum cymbals. The vocalist’s voice tears and strains for the most powerful notes he can possibly muster, belting and wailing beautifully atop explosive, metallic chaos. He pauses only for softer, reserved verses, in which ever-so-slightly muted guitar dances alongside a dulled and almost-inaudible drum beat. But this loud-quiet dynamic works perfectly, as it has for countless hard rock bands before Living Dust. Some of the guitar arpeggio and falsetto-based breaks are such gentle pieces of ear candy that one almost forgets that vicious, merciless guitar is to return at any moment.
“Love Blooms” opens with sweet, sliding, clean electric guitars and a steadily pulsing, but equally gentle, drum beat. Vocals float and fluctuate quietly and beautifully atop the melodic verses, but I am not fooled. I sense a crescendo approaching and I’m right.
Ripping through the tranquility of this illusory opening, distorted guitars tear the song to the ground and the vocals begin to reverberate with pure, unrestrained vibrancy and guttural power. This song is the perfect summary of both Living Dust’s musical abilities and their overall influences. They squeeze every last drop of the quiet and the loud corners of music into this track. Incredible stuff.
SImurgh is a great release for Living Dust. One to be proud of among their collection. Don’t take my word for it - go and listen for yourselves.
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