The thundering new self-titled album from the North Carolina heavy metal band Lightning Born honestly fits its title very well. The music rockets out with an impressively confident force, packed to the brim with lumbering and huge but carefully constructed riffs that feel more focused on transporting the listener off into a mental desert than mulling around here at the surface. There’s a huge scope evident across this music; that metaphorical desert packs not just a performance of this Lightning Born music but possible threats stretching out numerous directions. The adventure, though, remains yours for the taking all the same.
Essentially all of the elements of the new record feel pointed towards this kind of transformative experience. The music itself feels like an avalanche of primal, earthy atmosphere, and on the other end of the spectrum, the lyrics and clean but powerful vocals from frontwoman Breanna Leath add a captivating element of personality that really helps hook those who come in contact with this record. She sings about the personal perspective of swaggering out into the treacherous wilderness that the band capture with their new album, which thanks to the sheer power of the music, feels almost apocalyptic at times. You might get an easy mental picture of what’s going on here if you’ve recently watched a movie like the irreverent Zombieland, featuring a confident character from Woody Harrelson (among others) surviving their way through a post-apocalyptic landscape swarming with threats via an old-fashioned good time.
Ultimately, this music itself feels like a truly “good time.” That passion is at least part of how it came together in the first place, considering all of the members have histories in other projects, including some as high-profile as Corrosion of Conformity, whose bassist Mike Dean is a part of Lightning Born. This band freely reach across time in crafting their output, developing themes that got their first kickstart in the early days of doom-feeling heavy metal from bands like Black Sabbath and Candlemass. Although they’re definitely operating in line with some earlier trends, Lightning Born energetically make their music their very own and in so doing, allow their listeners to powerfully enjoy themselves right alongside the band.