Not so hot on the heels of its 2016 Bandcamp release, Lurk’s third album finally sees physical release via the burgeoning imprint of Transcending Obscurity Records. Adorned with new cover art, but missing the standard bells and whistles of once-digital, now-physical releases, Fringe is forced to stand—or fall—on its own merit.
Plaintive guitar patterns liturgically rhythm in opener “Ostrakismos,” alto saxophone wails and shrieks punctuating what may otherwise be standard doom, vocals taking tones to almost sub-funeral depths, an ideal introduction in which one can imagine gates swinging slowly—forbidding, yet beckoning to the realm beyond.
After the menacing, bile-black “Tale Blade” (“You are the saw to cut human off me”), “Reclaim” swings like a sledgehammer on a chain, bluesy and grimed, coming off like band of fellow Finn filth-mongers Transport League used to in their heyday. As plodding and morose as Fringe has been thus far, “Offshoot” is its rancid, pissed off cousin, tainted blood with a slight sonic nod to Ramesses in its barely-restrained vehemence.
Sloughing ever on, but in flames, is “Nether” (“Interwoven, fouled in the rut, one falls and won’t get up”), the translation from the band’s native tongue to English providing interesting perspective, musically battering blood waves against cliffs of flesh and bone. At just over 3 minutes in length, here’s your hit single, guys!
Ending with the scathing, soil-soaked and celebratory “Proteus Syndrome,” this is, in short, an album that should’ve been heard by more than it was a couple years ago, including yours truly. For now, thanks to Transcending Obscurity, Lurk lets its freak flag fly high once more with Fringe. Though non-purists may find their attention wandering, those versed in doom and her various bloodlines will find enjoyment.