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Thursday, June 10, 2010

Lantlôs - .neon

Modern Life Desolation.

Lantlôs is a post-black metal duet from Germany. This is the groups second release, the follow-up to their 2008 self-titled debut. This is also the first album to feature post-black metal enthusiast and creator, Neige (Alcest, Amesoeurs) on vocals.
The duet on here is simply Neige on vocals, as mentioned above, and Herbst on everything else. Herbst is also the only remaining member from the original duet's 2008 debut album. As Neige is such a force in today's black metal world, you know if he's going to work on something, it's going to be of a high quality.
Musically, compared to the debut album, this one is a lot more progressive, electric, and aggressive sounding. You have more persistent black metal influences like blast-beats and more screeched vocals. Most of the more acoustic moments from the debut have been removed from the band's sound on this album, but replaced with more melancholic experimentation, either clean guitars, frequent bass parts, and piano. As the lyrics seem to focus on modernity and urban subjects, the music on here feels more appropriate than even the debut did.
For those that have never heard Lantlôs before, but heard Neige's other projects, it might surprise you how little shoegaze or dream-like moments are actually found on here. There are some on here, don't get me wrong, but a more, almost progressive black metal sound is where's this album's core sound is. A lot of these songs were written and composed in with the intention of experimenting with different moods, so tracks like Coma evoke a bit of doom, while Minusmensch draw more comparisons to Ihsahn's solo work. It's hard to label one track as such, as they all seem to weld together post-rock, black metal, and more progressive ideas.
Neige's vocals on here are screamed more than sung. His screeches in tracks like Neige De Mars or the title-track, .neon, are absolutely perfect for the musical confines he's presented from Herbst. While his singing is used rarely, it is used effectively, the very evocative lines sung on Pulse/Surreal are, cliché as it is, surreal in the vibe they help create.
This is, overall, a record that is nothing short of breathtaking, surely to please anyone that has followed or likes Neige's work, or anyone that can handle progressive ideas. Forming an almost new atheistic for black metal all together with this release, not a new genre, this is how future records in this genre should really try to capture emotion. Definitely a grower, but definitely a must hear.
Overall Score: 9.5
Highlights: Every Track Is A Highlight

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