Review Summary: No Neige? No problem.
The concept of choosing pink as the dominant color of an album cover seems like a strange choice on paper. The listener will only understand how this concept truly works when the music reveals itself. Sunbather
nabbed this concept one year ago because it was meant to show the color seen on the inside of the eyelids when basking in the sunlight. No other color would have worked because of how uplifting the album’s atmosphere was and Melting Sun
possesses the same qualities. Lantlos may have lost their most prominent member Neige, but this proves to be no problem for the band and the loss of Neige gives the band a chance to turn over a new leaf. This means all elements of black metal are dropped in favor of a heavy shoegazing sound and the final product certainly soars.
This time around Herbst takes over the vocal duty and he definitely gets the job done well. The vast wall of sound and brilliant guitar riffs in “Azure Chimes” eventually give way to Herbst’s soothing vocals which are perfect for the warm atmosphere Melting Sun
is conveying. His vocals certainly work very well on this album, but other than suiting the atmosphere he really doesn’t have a unique voice to set himself aside from other vocalists in the genre. Thankfully Melting Sun
is not meant to be about a breathtaking vocal delivery. Despite the elements of despair seen in the beginning of “Aquamarine Towers,” the album excels at filling the listener with happiness and after its short running time of forty minutes fades away, it will be hard to not feel inspired to go about the day with a positive outlook.
The sound that best sums up Melting Sun
in a nutshell is a masterful combination of shoegazing post rock and to top it all off the production is stellar. Fantastic builds and musicianship are seen quite frequently throughout the album and “Jaded Fields” stands high above the rest in terms of delivering in these qualities. After a soothing build featuring an exceptional layered guitar riff, the song then elevates into a well done wall of sound filled with lyrics of acceptance, along with an engrossing atmosphere that seems like it could go on for miles. “Aquamarine Towers” also cements itself as a front runner because it’s essentially an emotional roller coaster ride. Even though it starts off with a sorrowful section of guitar feedback, it then gives way to epic drumming, soothing vocals and the inspiring mood the album so expertly displays. This mood is best solidified once “Golden Mind” comes around because of its amazing crescendos. The instruments coupled with Herbst’s quiet vocals slowly swell into a brilliant climax that will leave the listener at a loss for words. The guitar distortion, angelic backing vocals and slow climaxes provide the perfect evocative mood for driving around on a bright and sunny day.
However, perhaps this setting is the best time to listen to this album. To fully appreciate the bright and vibrant atmosphere this album provides, the sun is no better setting. The bright colors of orange, yellow and pink on the album cover are also the perfect colors at showing the listener what to expect. This record may not excel at having tons of variety throughout its short running time, but its warm mood and fantastic musicianship make up for it. Melting Sun
is an awesome entry into the shoegazing genre and a sure contender for album of the year. The loss of Neige was certainly a blow that the band without any doubt overcame with grace and finesse.