Heavy Metal Meets Electronic In SWARM and ATHR’s ‘Singing To The Sky’
August 28, 2019
August 28, 2019
For a couple of years now, Lucchii and SWARM have been climbing the ranks of the underground. While their paths do parallel one another in certain ways, there are also many distinctive differences. To name a few, Lucchii and SWARM have very different styles, sounds, and networks. At the same time, however, they do have other traits in common. For instance, they both enjoy heavy EDM, innovative sound design, and diligence to detail. In other words, when you put them together, you can expect the result to be just as filthy as it is polished. With all of that in mind, we give you “Sacrifice.”
Aptly released on Friday the 13th, “Sacrifice” by Lucchii and SWARM is just scary-good. As soon as you hit play, you’re welcomed to a dark and ominous soundscape where a Gothic choir awaits. As they set the foundation for the track, a music box begins to play a soothing yet eerie melody. At the same time, a sharp, low blast of brass beckons beneath the surface – adding yet another layer to the tension in the air. This crafty fusion of sounds leaves the listener on the edge of their seat, as they have virtually no idea what to expect next.
Then, we receive a sample of what’s to come, as the pair produces a filtered combo of guitar and drum patterns. The track quickly evolves, as it sheds some of the aforementioned elements for new ones, such as stronger drums, looming, legato strings, and pizzicato plucks. From there, we get our first taste of true excitement, as the drums begin to build, the strings become more rapid, and the atmosphere rises in speed and suspense – all of which leads us to an imminent drop.
As if we weren’t already hooked, Lucchii lures us in—even further—with his signature sonar-like sound. From there, the madness begins. With an extensive array of sounds between them, SWARM and Lucchii bombard their listens with machine guns, quick, slick swoops, glitchy fills, and so many more dark delights. Just getting started, they then go on to add guitar, a string ensemble, the returning choir, and even more electronic elements! As crazy as this mix may be, it works; and not only does it work, it sounds absolutely incredible. In short, the result is essentially cinematic dubstep, but with a metal twist as well.
In the bridge, we’re brought back to the familiar soundscape of the choir and music box, but it’s even better than the first time. With additional layers to the choir, as well as several new effects and ambiances, even in the calmer moments of “Sacrifice,” Lucchii and SWARM maintain our full attention. In mere moments, the drums, strings, and low brass are back in full effect. Then, once again, we quickly find ourselves ramping up for another drop. This time, however, things are going to be a little bit different. Why? Because SWARM leads us into the drop.
Before he guides us into the darkness, SWARM teases us with a swift series of sinister sounds. Then, we are quickly plunged into the abyss, where his signature sound design devours us. Not long after, Lucchii and SWARM mix in nearly all the familiar elements from earlier in the track, including the vibrant strings, sonar-like sound, guitar, choir, and so much more. Remarkably enough, they manage to do so in a fresh and inspired manner. In other words, even though we’ve heard all these components before, Lucchii and SWARM are able to make the second drop its own experience, as it has several combinations that can’t be found in the first drop, and vice versa. Finally, the choir, low brass, and atmospheric sounds play us out.
From start to finish, “Sacrifice” is a truly immersive experience. We feel the ambiguity in the beginning, the anxiety in the builds, the overwhelming gravity of the drops, and the raw emotion of the instruments. Furthermore, an important component of each drop is its incorporation of the instruments as well as the choir. As a result of this careful coexistence, each drop is a delicate balance of power and emotion. While the electronic elements are certainly dark and savage, their orchestral counterparts add light and empathy to the equation. Just as the heavy basses blast us with force, so, too, do the strings, guitar, and choir keep us afloat in the midst of the madness. All in all, it’s a beautiful blend of sounds, styles, and emotions.
If “Sacrifice” tells a story, then perhaps it reads a little like this: The narrator has a difficult decision to make (the intro), they approach their conclusion (the buildup), they receive backlash (the first part of the drop), they express their regret and mixed emotions (the second half of the drop), they reevaluate a few things (the bridge), they make a different decision (the new lead-in with SWARM’s sound), they receive further backlash, they feel yet another wave of doubt, and then, in the end, they are left with just as much ambiguity and uncertainty as they had in the beginning of the story, as though they can’t please everyone, no matter how hard they might try.
Perhaps the ultimate “Sacrifice” is accepting the fact that your decisions simply won’t appeal to all walks of life. Or, on the other hand, perhaps the point of the song is the fact that one should never sacrifice their artistic vision in order to please others. Otherwise, their story may parallel the song’s, ending exactly where they began – feeling lost, insecure, and inadequate. Or, yet another take, perhaps “Sacrifice” tells the story of an artist sacrificing social opportunities, friendships, and even relationships for what they value most: success in the music industry. Again, this is all speculation. Whatever “Sacrifice” may mean to you, one thing is certain: this song is a truly incredible journey.
Suffice it to say, “Sacrifice” by Lucchii and SWARM is an absolute masterclass in versatility. With cinematic symphonies, sinister synths, booming bass, and metal-inspired moments, “Sacrifice” is unparalleled, uncompromising, and simply relentless. For more music like it, check out Lucchii and SWARM below. Trust us, you don’t want to miss out on any of their music.