Lantlos
Lantlos


4.5
superb

Review

by AngelPhoenix USER (5 Reviews)
February 9th, 2009 | 67 replies | 10,034 views


Release Date: 2008 | Tracklist

Review Summary: The little black metal that could.

9 of 9 thought this review was well written

Lantlos is:

Herbst : Guitar, Bass, Drums, Keyboard
Tom Innocenti (aka Morthvargr) : Vocals, Guitar, Keyboard

I'm about the last person that should be reviewing this as I know next to nothing about black metal; it's conventions, traditions, lore and background, how it's 'supposed' to sound, and why the music feels the way it does. Regardless, Lantlos' self-titled debut is a marvelous sonic achievement that runs the full range of what one might except from straight up black metal, along with some rather unanticipated experimentation that, while none of it could ever possibly change the genre the band falls into, manages to shake things up just enough to make you smile at their willingness to try something a little different, and the confidence with which it is executed.

Blast beats and grating, screaming harsh vocals abound, but even within these generic aspects, Lantlos somehow manages to sound incredibly fresh and convincing. Neither of these elements are overused, and when they present themselves, they not only sound great (the production isn't crystal or anything, but it's noticeably crisper and louder than most BM) but also blend exceptionally well into the band's most potent weapon: their wonderfully smooth and inexplicably catchy acoustic breaks. Featuring some truly inspired bass work (it's honestly some of the best I've heard in metal, not through technicality, but through restraint, ingenuity, and fluidity) intuitive drumming that sounds like almost nothing you would normally here from BM, and finely-tuned strumming that fluctuates only slightly, these change-ups both stand apart as emotionally charged and masterfully performed and increase the visceral impact of the decidedly intense heavy sections.

Speaking of finely-tuned, one of the things that attracted me to, and made me love black metal was how in most cases, the riffs are designed to sound almost as if the same note is being held for minutes at a time, but in actuality, there are very small to moderate changes in the tuning that give the riffs a kind of wavelength-imagery to them, as if you were running alongside a river that was constantly rising and falling in small increments as it follows the landscape. Problems can occur however when the tunings are either so slight that you can barely detect them, or they simply don't do much to advance or expand the overall sound of the song, resulting in repetition or staleness. Lantlos doesn't suffer from this. The tuning changes are much closer to moderate and really give these songs a power and an essence that is as inviting as it is aggressive, eloquent as it is abrasive.

The vocals are top notch, though I can't say much else about them, mostly because I tend to ignore the vocals in the music I listen to. That being said, I don't have to push past the vocals in order to enjoy the instrumentation here, as I usually find myself doing, as they blend and commingle amazingly well with the feel and progression of the music. They also aid in some truly epic build-ups and climaxes (particularly in Kalte Tage) that few other black metal bands I've come across can put down with any passion (Wolves in the Throne Room comes to mind as one of those exceptions).

From beginning to end, you will never find yourself even remotely bored with anything going on here. If nothing else, there's always a little something in the background to listen for, and many of Lantlos' sonic elements can become lost in the mix. But as you discover them, you realize that their songs are very rich and full, not because there's a wall of sound, but because the assortment of tones and pitches, and the manner in which they are arranged, allow your ears to take them in one at a time. They still achieve a nearly overwhelming assault on your senses, but do so in a way that is far more pleasant (and as a result of all this, replayable) and considerably more absorbable that you'll likely be expecting.

I have trouble finding anything wrong with this album. Besides being one hell of a debut, there really isn't a single element that I don't like. Everything fits, works, blends, and satisfies. There is despair and desire, passion and pain, sadness, regret, but also hope. Over in a delightfully complacent 39 minutes, you will likely need to give this a few spins before you can put everything together. Once I did, I found that as the last track ended, I was deep in my thoughts, in touch with my inner self, calm, content, and wanting to start it all over again. Do yourself a favor and let Lantlos take you somewhere I think every one would benefit from going.


user ratings (64)
Chart.
3.9
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
AngelPhoenix
February 9th 2009



2764 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

This needed a review so fucking badly I just had to. Comments and criticisms...GO!

PanasonicYouth
February 9th 2009



7410 Comments


Good review. Made me want to check it out.

rasputin
February 9th 2009



14504 Comments


Great review, the only suggestion I have is that you tend to use 'I think', 'I don't like', 'I tend to ignore' phrases a lot which can all together be avoided.
This sounds good.

KTV
February 9th 2009



760 Comments


i thought this was latin black metal for a second

AngelPhoenix
February 9th 2009



2764 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I see what you mean. I do tend to (lol) personalize my reviews a lot. I'll see what I can do. And yeah, this is awesome. I'm wondering where the album art is though...

rasputin
February 9th 2009



14504 Comments


Yeah, it comes off as arbitrary because we already know it's your opinion (seeing as it's your review), so simply sticking with saying stuff like 'the vocals are like this and are good because of it' and 'the guitars do this and sound sweet' is sufficient.
I quite enjoyed Sombres Forets and seeing as you recommended it, I'll be acquiring this shortly.

Here's a link to the album art, you should be able to add it from the edit review page.

http://banefulgenesis.com/shop/images/lantlos.jpgThis Message Edited On 02.09.09

PanasonicYouth
February 9th 2009



7410 Comments


I'm definitely not a black metal kinda guy, but this is... Kinda good. I'm downloading it nao.

AngelPhoenix
February 9th 2009



2764 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Thanks ras, I think you will like this a lot.

BallsToTheWall
February 9th 2009



44164 Comments


Don't worry man, I don't know jack about black metal either, and i've written at least 10 B.M reviews. Always a pleasure for an Angel review. Mi casa(Sputnik) su casa. I will download away....

PanasonicYouth
February 9th 2009



7410 Comments


Instrumentals are indeed amazing, but....
So far, vocals are annoying as ballllls.

EDIT: Typo

and why the music feel the way it does.

Just thought I'd point that out. I'm nit-picky...This Message Edited On 02.09.09

BallsToTheWall
February 9th 2009



44164 Comments


^^^ somebody that knows even less about black metal than I do.

PanasonicYouth
February 9th 2009



7410 Comments


That hurt, bud. I really don't. Haha. This is my first foray into black metal besides In Sorte Diaboli, which was hideously terrible.

pyogeniccortex
February 9th 2009



183 Comments


good review, i'll probably check this out

BallsToTheWall
February 9th 2009



44164 Comments


I'm J.K man. But for black metal, vocals aren't really supposed to be accessible. Give B.M a chance though. I've personally never really had a hard time getting intothis stuff. My first foray was Emperor and Dissectiona nd I loved them both among first listen. Especially band number 2.

AngelPhoenix
February 9th 2009



2764 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

That's not nit-picky that's a good catch.

PanasonicYouth
February 9th 2009



7410 Comments


Hrmmmmm... You have convinced me, good sir. I'll give 'em a listen.

Phantom
February 9th 2009



8930 Comments


Dissection are so awesomely super

Hawks
February 9th 2009



33363 Comments


Really good review Angel. Never heard of this band. I'll check this out soon enough.

Yazz_Flute
February 9th 2009



18735 Comments


I thought the band was called "Latinos" for a second there.

hardy har har

Digging: Anekdoten - Vemod

BallsToTheWall
February 9th 2009



44164 Comments


Alright so, these guys sounded alright from myspace. But from another perspective of German progressive black metal, i'd say farsot beat these guys. At least from the myspace samples. Still, give Farsot a run for yourself and decide.



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