Technically, Apes of a Cold God is Lovac’s debut album, but the four members of the band have been making music for a while longer. Before now, they were known as Down in June, a Death in June cover band that released an album imaginatively titled Covers…Death in June. While Apes of a Cold God may be the band’s first recorded set of originals, it’s clear there is a chemistry here that goes beyond the typical debut album. Lovac’s vision is a bleak one (perhaps that’s not such a surprise, given that Death in June’s Douglas Pierce probably doesn’t even smile when you tickle him), but the band is tight and focused. Its sound is a goth-tronica hybrid that tinkers with ambience, electronic samples, and plenty of deliberately-strummed guitars and vocals that alternate between Erica Li Lundqvist’s pure alto and Andreas Catjar’s fragile baritone. It’s not far from old Love is Colder Than Death, complete with some of the simplistic beats and heavy reverb that characterized some of that band’s best moments. Apes of a Cold God isn’t going to win any genre converts or inspire many diehard fans, but it’s plenty of proof that this group of musicians can stand on its own, without the crutch of covers to fall back on.
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