Lycia – Empty Space

Empty Space

Lycia is a music project of Mike VanPortfleet that’s been rolling (sometimes more smoothly than others) since 1988. While its sound has evolved a lot over the years, Lycia has always been dark, both musically and lyrically. The most recent incarnation of Lycia features John Fair, David Galas, and Tara Vanflower as well as VanPortfleet, most of whom have been involved with Lycia and assorted other VanPortfleet projects since the mid 90s.
Most of the music on Empty Space features heavily processed vocals, guitar, and drums alongside droning synth noises and repetitive melodies. The track order repeats a basic lyrical song/instrumental song/lyrical song pattern that explores the sound of Empty Space thoroughly. All of the instrumental tracks feature repeating, looping melodies and synthed-out ambience. Lyrics are usually (read: always) dark, with a strong sense of melancholy, futility, and a disaffected attitude. The title of the CD is highly indicative of the emotional content of the album.
“Not Here, Not Anywhere” opens the album with a long exploration of the alienation that human beings tend to feel when our immediate social group is not made up of our peers – the sort of intense antisocial separation most predominant during puberty and the teenage carnage that follows. For some it ends, for others, it is merely the start of a long downward spiral. “Persephone” seems to smash pagan worship, sex, physical violence, and self-confidence issues into one bloody, nasty mess. “This is the End” repeats the line “I feel nothing” over and over as a chorus.
There is a layer of cold, modern indifference and apathy smeared across every note on this album. Perfectly dismal ambient and gothic music that never misses a beat on its march through Death Valley by moonlight.