Artificial Horizon album cover
Artificial Horizon


Dischord Records

Picking a favorite Lungfish album is like picking a favorite Rothko painting. The band’s discography is so wonderfully steadfast, a gradual march toward the realization of one sonic idea, that singling out any particular example seems almost arbitrary. But Artificial Horizon feels like an especially concentrated dose of what this Baltimore band, one of the most prolific on the entire Dischord roster and one of the label’s only non-D.C.-based outfits, concerned itself with across 15-plus years and 11 full-lengths, plus one previously unreleased session that came out years after they’d ceased regular activity. On songs like “Oppress Yourself,” guitarist Asa Osborne, bassist Nathan Bell and drummer Mitchell Feldstein settle into roomy, mantra-like locked grooves, laying out a sort of endless railway for vocalist Daniel Higgs (credited here as Omon Ortsa) to ride, as he delivers what often sound more like mystical sermons than any sort of conventional rock singing. Hypnotic instrumentals like “Truth Cult” and the bizarre guitar-and-voice collage “Slip of Existence” break up the track list, highlighting the relentless drive of full-band selections such as “Shed the World.” As a whole, the album makes a convincing case for Lungfish as a distinct organism within the Dischord ecosystem.

Hank Shteamer

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