Lantlos
Agape


3.0
good

Review

by DarkNoctus CONTRIBUTOR (40 Reviews)
October 28th, 2011 | 208 replies


Release Date: 2011 | Tracklist

Review Summary: an interesting idea and sound halted by odd structuring and lack of content, though still a worthy listen.

Lantlôs are one of the few exceptions in the "post-black" scene that actually do create their own style of music that is very distinct in both mood and sound. This album in particular harbors a much different sound to any of Lantlôs' previous albums and contemporaries, and the sound and ideas here are great - no questioning that. It's dark, dense but holds a very personal and endearing tone with a very interesting sound. If Nadja were to go darker and release a black metal album, it might sound a bit like this. But therein lies the reason it doesn't work as well as it should, because unlike Nadja albums, it doesn't stick around long enough to pull you in. It's 35 minutes but feels much shorter, and where albums not feeling their length is a good thing, there comes a line where it just feels like there's not enough and this album crossed it due to the album's weird pacing and the songs just never really starting.

But before I see any jokes about "and Neige sounds like an angel as always", let's clear this up - this couldn't be further from the truth. On Agape, he sounds more tortured than he ever has in his career - his screams being the highlight of the album. Some may miss the clean vocals that were in tracks like Pulse/Surreal from .neon, but I think it's a good thing that they've taken a back seat (though they do make an appearance in the last track, but very buried in the mix). It accentuates the darker tones of the album much more successfully, especially since Neige sounds so great here. No qualms with the vocals. Nor the production or instrumentation either, since they're nigh-on perfect too. The sound is dense, rich and full but never overwhelming and everything can be heard perfectly and exactly as they should be. The musicianship here and production are better than they've ever been in this band, especially since their last album sounded a little bit weak in comparison to this one.

But the album blunders when it comes to the weird pacing. It feels Herbst's sense of structuring has seriously suffered, and as a consequence many of the songs flow awkwardly or just feel as if entire sections are missing. For a 35 minute black metal album to spend more time being ambient than metal due to the inconsistent ordering of the track sections is just strange. Not only this but when we are in the more metallic sections, it spends most of its time being slow and heavily doom influenced. Which is great, doom metal is great, the idea behind this aesthetic being put into a doom context is great - but for barely half an hour it just doesn't hold up. You could say that if you didn't think of it as a black metal album you might appreciate it more, but if it's not that, what is it exactly? It harbours a sound that you're meant to get lost in but it's not around long enough to pull you in, because before you know it you're on the last track asking yourself where the rest of the album is.

But even if there were more tracks, the structuring of the longer songs are somewhat confusing. The first track for example starts with a distorted ambient introduction for a couple of minutes before entering a doom-laden section for a few minutes, then another ambient interlude, then a crushing doom section again and ending without really getting going. The next track, Bliss, is similar in structure whereby it just doesn't really go anywhere worth waiting for before ending. The two shorter tracks are pretty unmemorable and the last track is probably the best one on the album, but again, it barely comes to a conclusion, none of the compositions here do. I feel there's so much that was cut from this album in favour for slower, more intense sections and it just doesn't work for an album so short.

It's a shame because the sound is great and unique but the odd structuring of the album really lets it down. This could have potentially been Lantlôs' best album by quite a big margin but it turned out to probably be the worst. It's definitely worth a listen but I think most people will end up returning to the previous two albums far more than this one.

I know I will. :]



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Chart.
3.7
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hyperi0n STAFF (4)
Evolution in its purest form....


Comments:Add a Comment 
DarkNoctus
Contributing Reviewer
October 28th 2011


8896 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

thought i'd put this review up here too, criticism welcomed :]

Tyrael
October 28th 2011


20899 Comments


Criticism:

:]

DarkNoctus
Contributing Reviewer
October 28th 2011


8896 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

hehehe :]

Crysis
Staff Reviewer
October 28th 2011


16434 Comments


Seem to remember you having this at a 2.5. Haven't heard this yet but the album art slays. Might listen just because, but I'm not expecting a whole lot.

Good review. First few sentences seem to be worded a bit funny but not a big deal.

Digging: Swallowed - Lunarterial

Tyrael
October 28th 2011


20899 Comments


Anyways, cool review Noctus!

I really enjoyed his previous efforts so I might check this out

DarkNoctus
Contributing Reviewer
October 28th 2011


8896 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

it's somewhere between a 2.5 and 3 but i love the idea and sound so much that it's certainly not average. thanks crysis and tyraelxy, you should check this out for sure. :]

Also stay away from being unspecific with your language.


thanks for the feedback :] but i'm not sure what you mean here, though the rest i'll take into consideration. might re-write the third paragraph.

Xenophanes
Emeritus
October 28th 2011


10613 Comments


I know I will. :]




ilu

Digging: Kayo Dot - Coffins On Io

DarkNoctus
Contributing Reviewer
October 28th 2011


8896 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

actually yeah you're right, let me fix those up a little and check for others. thanks! :]

TheSpirit
October 28th 2011


17927 Comments


probably won't check this out

DarkNoctus
Contributing Reviewer
October 28th 2011


8896 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

alright i changed those sections for stuff that's far more to the point and explanatory, hopefully they're better. thanks for pointing those out HSThomas! :]

DarkNoctus
Contributing Reviewer
October 28th 2011


8896 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

yay! :]

also this is my third post-black review in a row

i want to review something different :[

foxblood
October 28th 2011


6797 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

good review Noctus, i agree with most of the points you make

zaruyache
October 28th 2011


6866 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

When I heard "Bliss" for the first time I was very excited for this release. Harsh, dense and grim that song was great. Sadly the rest of the album was much too experimental to hold any weight. I feel as if there was an abundance of "smoke" here in the form of post-/ambient, but with too little black metal "fire" to cause any damage or memorability.

In the words of Noctus: :[

Pos'd.

Digging: Ardour Loom - Demo

NocteDominum
Contributing Reviewer
October 28th 2011


7097 Comments


Good review Nocto : ] POOSSSSSS!(pos)

i want to review something different :[

I hear there's a new Nickelback album coming out rather soon ; ) a 5/5 from Noctus maybe? JKS




Hawks
October 28th 2011


35838 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Nice review as always buddy.

cvlts
October 28th 2011


8967 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

gave this a listen and basically agree with this review.

Zettel
October 28th 2011


599 Comments


A DarkNoctus review, :]

Hyperion1001
Staff Reviewer
October 28th 2011


18701 Comments


Album is great, i have no idea where you got this idea about bad pacing

You're lucky i have a paper due monday or i'd counter this so hard

Expect a counter-review next week though

Digging: Execration (NOR) - Morbid Dimensions

Crysis
Staff Reviewer
October 28th 2011


16434 Comments


dun dun dun dun

Relinquished
October 28th 2011


25200 Comments


agaping butthole



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