Review | LIGHT DWELLER Glares with Shadowy Discord on Lucid Offering

            Illumination is a key function of light, but shadowy recesses are naturally brought out by its presence, and these effects are both realized through LIGHT DWELLER, a one-man agent of disharmonic radiance from the USA’s harsh desert regions. Its moniker seems almost counter intuitive, considering the favor it shows toward dark and unsettling auras, and now those deceptive perceptual tendencies induced since 2018’s Nullity of Light are set to take further hold on Lucid Offering. This new full-length scourge capitalizes on the impact from recently past outputs, with chaos and oppression advanced in its multifarious orchestrations, and other elemental rays are infused to reinforce their bleak outlooks for humanity. LIGHT DWELLER demonstrates proficient instrumental and songwriting devastation on Lucid Offering, and its forceful influence endures for an inspired voluntary forfeiture of sanity.

            The formulas promptly cast a dismal imposition on “Succumb,” and this title’s intent is actualized when multiple layers blur into a contorting dissonant mass. Bursts of speed riffing and other frantic excursions are integrated with rapid drum maneuvers, and they collectively launch a series of evasive structures, where detailed fret patterns and arpeggiations weave derangement across unpredictable percussive shifts. Various elements surface and dissipate irregularly throughout, which compounds the turbulence as novel shapes and effects issue from a seemingly fathomless abyss, and deeper tones evolve in the prevailing course to forward a sense of doom. Its oppression is highlighted during points of rhythmic reprieve, with the punishment briefly opting for blunt force over berserkery, and the gradual decline of a crushing riff on “Lucid Offering” carries that dynamic into warped string desolation. An unsettling bombardment soon blasts ahead, and its cacophony forges a monument to discord before the track’s brooding and technical tendencies extend to “Conjurer of Light.” Accented fluctuations reveal a sequence within the tremolo murk, and it transfers to other designs in an escalating frenzy that also drifts through slower passages. Grim cavernous depths are encountered in the riffing of these areas, along with an intrigue from synth features striking amid their concurrent bleakness, and a disturbed aural and tremolo convergence finds closure in the parallel eeriness of noted resonations.

            Tormenting inflictions continue with the heavy groove of “Incantation Upon a Withered Entity,” and different rhythmic influences are utilized in the frantic tension of certain patterns while slower points amplify a malignant presence. Many aural manifestations, which have been noted since piano keys first creeped into the madness of “Succumb,” coincide with incorporeal tremolo and arpeggiated developments, and they haunt this track while bringing out lead melodies to augment the gloom. The enchantment is maximized when these heightened layers combine with atmospheric keys on “Hominal,” and its darkness then advances through a section of cymbal and double kick flow. Progressions forward a dissonant pulse amid perpetually mutating intricacies on “Kaleidoscope of Thorns,” and their disturbed elevations delve into brooding territory before a culmination of melody with pianos leads to a desolate calm. This crosses over to the dreariness of “Spiritual eclipse,” where a torrent of bleak and havoc-inducing arrangements convey the imminent conclusion, and its approach is driven by paces that blast and stride with a colossal resolve. Monstrous guttural and raspy vocal varieties have enforced the imposing vibrations perceived throughout, and here a distinctly vicious echoed effect ravages within the glaring dissonance. Its unsettling currents persist along with heavier rhythms until fading inevitably to nihility.

            Misery and demise related to our human condition, along with the enslavement imposed on those of a susceptible or oblivious mentality, are echoed verbally within the audial oppression, and a “Symbolic death of relinquished discretion” is represented in the initial “Shattered sovereignty” of “Succumb.” It portrays an “Unmitigated dominion instituting its regulation” against the masses, whose independence and free thought disintegrate from being “Willfully bound in defiance of awareness,” and a “Malignant light” drives this tyrannical advantage on “Lucid Offering.” Its true nature is “Disguised with discernible feigned growth,” which allows the “Ineludible stratagem imposed” to see “Solace bled dry through subterfuge,” and the manipulation of weak minds continues through “A forceful negotiation of the vulnerable, wandering soul,” using occult sources on “Incantation Upon a Withered Entity.” Invoking an “Unknown divinity,” viewed by the conjurer as a “Sacrosanct liberator,” leads to “Distilling the essence of inveigled capitulation,” and control schemes persist when the “Removal of perception” is carried out within its “Pacifying enchantment.”

 Another mysterious “Barrage of radiant light” is encountered on “Conjurer of Light,” and it “Lures me deeper in its grasp” to reflect submission alongside possible references to death or the infinite. Despair also surfaces when regarding this “Asomatous master” as a “Lantern in this abyssal ruin called life,” and earlier points reappear in the “Malleable ignoramus” on “Hominal,” who is “Rebirthed as an anencephalic adherent.” Its domination ensues from an “Ephemeral autonomy aborted through this hominal inhibition,” and another burden comes from being “Imprisoned to flesh with its encumbering limitations.” Authoritarian adherence serves as a “Testament to your downfall and incapacities,” and misery peaks with “No light to discover” and a state “Depleted of all yearnings” on “Kaleidoscope of Thorns.” An internal struggle depicts, along with “Experience” deemed to be “Fruitless endeavors at best,” how “Calamity resulted from crushing failures at worst,” which brings the resolve to “Lay down in this decaying tunnel fulfilling my prophetic augury to wither and rot.”

            Fate is sealed in apparent death when a “Mysterious adumbration,” who is “Shrouded in false promises,” arrives on “Spiritual Eclipse,” and consequences similar to those above are “Inflicted by the pathology of its guidance.” The delirium from “Indistinguishable cognitive patterns” takes hold, along with the hopelessness of “Fortitude unfounded in this decaying existence,” and perceptions of “Nothing but a concatenation of squandered contingencies” in “A life forfeited” prompt the revelation that “I am nothing but an empty relic of my own sabotage.” Admittedly, my efforts to comprehend some of the vocabulary here were similar to those requiring Google Translator, and I also remain curious about the source of quoted passages appearing throughout, but these bring an intriguing aspect to the lyrical contents and suit the essence of their orchestrated counterparts. The cover artwork also reflects the overall concepts, with a larger entity that overpowers and beams its influence into the restrained childlike figure.

            Darkness clearly emanates from the spirit of LIGHT DWELLER, and the depths of its boundless potential are seized with precision on Lucid Offering. Its compositions pursue tortuous and thoroughly engaging paths, where crushing density interacts effectively with brooding immensity, and their integration with a ceaseless flow of complexities reinforces a formidable dynamism. Instrumental dexterity is displayed firmly without overshadowing the bleak and malevolent influences, which are subtly enhanced by ambient and synth elements surfacing throughout, and multiple attentive ventures reveal an order hidden within these overtly chaotic structures. A single musician arranging songs with this level of detail is another impressive point to acknowledge, and Lucid Offering is a work to be partaken with enthusiasm, along with the rest of LIGHT DWELLER’s catalogue, by those drawn toward the greater heights of extremity.

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