Lantlôs - Lantlôs
ATMF
Black Metal
5 songs (39:24)
Release year: 2008
Lantlôs, ATMF
Reviewed by Goat

As artsy as modern Black Metal stereotypically is, few bands take a conscious step into actual art forms. German newcomers Lantlôs revel in it; look at that artwork, a nightmarish city with twisted stick-men wandering, bent, bowed down with the sheer weight of existence. The band’s logo is as interesting, like the signature of an artist marking his work; yet when you start listening to Lantlôs first impressions are that it’s strangely familiar. Blastbeats, manic screamed vocals, noisy guitars, all as usual. But the more you listen, the more you get drawn into that black and white cityscape, the music forming an unearthly hum like the death rattle of humanity. Listen enough and it will become clear that this band are attempting something special indeed, subtly rendering universes behind the stark face of their music.

Opening blast þinaz Andawlitjam is a nine-minute tour-de-force of sheer dread, tip-tapping drums beating nervous rhythms beneath waves of guitar that hang in the air like softly falling snow, and worried vocals that whisper and scream their way into your subconscious. This would be more than good enough even without the hints of Post-Rock that are gradually introduced to the song, a Jesu-like melody repeating hypnotically in the middle section before it stops and restarts as something completely different. Really, it’s little short of Black Metal perfection, not at all a different take on an elder’s formula but something new and intriguing on its own, although obviously several other bands attempt something similar. A few acoustic strums, then it returns to the crazed terror of the start and fades out, annoyingly. The album makes a good attempt at repeating this genius, although it never quite manages. Mitsommerregen takes time to offer more acoustic strumming (backed by blasting at one point) but it never reaches the same dizzy hypnotic insanity of the first track.

Fortunately, third piece Ruinen makes a decent go of it, turning to Folky melodies as it atmospherically heads for different, surprisingly peaceful pastures. Kalte Tage is probably the most Post-Rocky song present, melancholic yet strangely hopeful, reminding me more of Jesu (as mentioned above) than most Black Metal. That and closer Ëin are the most experimental tracks all around, sampled German voices (male and female) adding oddness in bucketfuls, but again, they lack something compared to the brilliant opening track. This doesn’t mean that Lantlôs as a whole is a poor album, far from it; it’s just hard to take the change in tone. Still, for the first track alone this deserves praise, and the other songs do a fine job of marking Lantlôs out as a band to watch closely in the future. If you like your Black Metal experimental but closely attached to the source, there’s few around as good.

MySpace
Killing Songs :
þinaz Andawlitjam, Ruinen, Kalte Tage
Goat quoted 78 / 100
Other albums by Lantlôs that we have reviewed:
Lantlôs - Melting Sun reviewed by Neill and quoted 40 / 100
Lantlôs - Agape reviewed by Jaime and quoted 72 / 100
Lantlôs - .Neon reviewed by Vrechek and quoted 82 / 100
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