Review Summary: Innovative Italians with incredible ideas strike again..
“Anxiety, Despair, Languish” is the fourth full length from Italian progressive sludgesters and occasional drone mongers Lento, and off the back of Icon, they have produced their heaviest and certainly most diverse album to date.
The first thing that strikes the listener is just how varied this album is, as it seemingly switches between moments of incredible beauty to momentous heaviness. “Death Must Be the Place” and the progression from haunting acoustic piece “Blackness” to the heavy as *** title track showcase the mixture of velocities at work throughout the album. The lighter moments of the album ooze beauty shown through the otherworldly interlude of “Years Later” and the calming acoustic piece “Blackness”. Conversely, when Lento are heavy, they are heavy. As ***. The introduction of “Glorification of the Chosen One” is crushingly beautiful when accompanied by the synths to make an almost orchestral experience, and Lento go completely against their name with the blisteringly fast passage of “Blind Idiot God” which showcases some serious tremolo picking in combination with violent outbursts of distortion to make it one of the heaviest tracks on the album, as is “Underbelly” with its twisted chug penetrating your brain. Furthermore, Lento appear to have created a new form of heaviness in “Questions and Answers” with what can only be described as the sound of an artillery shell, and what’s more metal than an weapon of mass destruction?
Also, the album features varied songs with varied passages to give each track its own personality. “Unyielding/Unwavering” flits between many ideas, including a serene solo guitar backed with warm synths to several outbursts of humongous intensity. The last half of the album (with the exception of the uplifting “My Utmost for his Highest”) appears to be darker than the first half, however each individual song has its own distinct sound. It is also customary for the band to produce some ambient tracks which, although inventive, can sometimes impede the progress of the album, as shown on their album “Earthen”. The track “Inwards Disclosure” is the only ambient track on the album, however the eeriness and creepiness of the track makes sure that it stands out from the rest. The incredible diversity of time signatures and inventive usage of the guitar throughout the album leaves the listener guessing what is to come next which prevents the album from becoming boring and predictable.
Lento is a majestic opus because of the variation of its ideas and the inventive passages which range from extreme beauty to extreme heaviness. Each song is packed with interesting ideas and intricacies making it surprising and diverse. Pick it up immediately.