Lethian Dreams
Red Silence Lodge


4.0
excellent

Review

by DarkNoctus CONTRIBUTOR (40 Reviews)
July 28th, 2014 | 15 replies


Release Date: 04/30/2014 | Tracklist

Review Summary: a concise, streamlined and all-around great doom metal record with enough individuality to set it apart.

Red Silence Lodge came at a time that I felt honestly tired out by doom metal of the more melancholic persuasion. Simply put, too much of it was trying too hard to convey the exact same message in the exact same way. Perhaps some of it was too gimmicky and tried too desperately to attain a sense of authenticity from it. There are only so many times one can listen to the message "I am sad" with the same melancholic riffs beneath it and for it to feel genuine. This is where Red Silence Lodge strikes a different chime - in what it doesn't do, or feel the need to do, to convey this feeling so effectively and convincingly. What they instead delivered are seven very well written doom ballads that never resort to cheap devices and consistently impress and are structured nigh-on perfectly, and despite rarely leaving their comfort zone, Lethian Dreams rarely sound samey or tired.

For fans of the melodic, non-plodding approach to doom that the likes Draconian have popularized, there's a lot here to appreciate. The similarities are obvious from the get-go - the straight forward and surprisingly immediate songwriting by doom metal standards especially, despite staying at a slower pace for the majority of the record. The weight of the rhythm guitars is definitely reminiscent of bands like My Dying Bride and Swallow the Sun but it finds a way to sound more distinctive than most bands can manage. The inclusion of tremolo-picked riffs, more akin to black metal than anything else, really do help differentiate Lethian Dreams from the bunch; especially when you consider how seamlessly they're used with the melancholic, slower lead riffs, especially when mixed with delay-drenched clean guitars that perfectly meld with everything else. The guitar work excels here in its subtlety and ability to carry the rest of the music with it, including the much improved vocals of Carline Van Roos. She does, however, sound very distant in the mix but her vocals are a welcome soothing contrast from the rest of the band and add a lot of individuality to the palette, if only a texture. It is a shame that the drums sound a touch wooden in places, and the bass is mostly inaudible, but both do what they need to do to carry the momentum.

From one listen alone the improvements since Season of Raven Words are obvious - Red Silence Lodge is far more confident and refined. Not only that, though, it's also a lot more diverse if you listen closely. It does sound like melodic doom on the forefront but some moments, such as the astoundingly well-executed blastbeat section of "Shades", shine through and take this beyond just being another doom metal record for the pile. The band is just as comfortable in more delicate situations, too - "Dust" using delayed clean guitars akin to post-rock bands that make some other bands' attempt at incorporating post-rock into metal looking like a sorry joke. Lethian Dreams go to great lengths to make none of the twists they use jarring, using each one to heighten the atmospheres set by their foundations and they don't falter once - even when incorporating all of their tricks into one track, the closing track "Black Winds" arguably being the strongest of their career thus far. Though tracks "Midwinter" and "Leaving Light" feel less memorable than the rest, they in no way go too far astray from the quality Lethian Dreams bring forward in their strongest moments.

Where Red Silence Lodge excels is the gimmick-free approach; the band don't use any of their instrumentation in an obnoxious way and none of it seems cheap. It isn't the most striking record, nor the most impressive in terms of musicianship and pushing any boundaries they've set for themselves, nor does it set out to. It's a perfection of their own formula, which all considered is definitely a winning formula made all the better with some much needed refinement since Season of Raven Words. It's such a shame Lethian Dreams are as under-appreciated as they are - they're a band that forgoes most gimmicks associated with their peers and simply release a great album in all aspects, and it really does deserve to be heard.



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user ratings (5)
Chart.
4
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
DarkNoctus
Contributing Reviewer
July 28th 2014


8819 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

not really into the reviewing thing at the moment but this really needed more attention

http://lethiandreams.bandcamp.com/album/red-silence-lodge-2

criticism welcome as always! if you dig draconian you really need to give this a spin, it's really great

Digging: Darkspace - Dark Space III I

ComeToDaddy
July 28th 2014


258 Comments


Great review. I've always been a sucker for melodic doom, as well as female vocals in my metal, so will check this out for sure.

Digging: Spectral Lore - III

deathschool
July 28th 2014


8073 Comments


Really sweet review man. Your writing style is so damn easily digestible and relaxing. Mental metal pos. May have to check this.

Digging: Thumpermonkey - We Bake Our Bread Beneath Her Holy Fire

NocteDominum
Contributing Reviewer
July 28th 2014


7041 Comments


Sweet review man, good to see you giving high scores again.

CaptainDooRight
July 28th 2014


29131 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Def wanna hear

Digging: Kangding Ray - Solens Arc

zaruyache
July 28th 2014


6443 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

I love the vocals--they're extremely atmospheric and add to the already impressive atmosphere here. I hardly ever get doom metal but godamit if this isn't a 4/5.

Digging: Alpha Male Tea Party - Droids

Willie
Moderator
August 1st 2014


15972 Comments


I didn't even know they had a new album. Awesome. Will have to check it out.

Digging: Necropoli - I

DarkNoctus
Contributing Reviewer
August 1st 2014


8819 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

definitely do - it's great

DarkNoctus
Contributing Reviewer
September 2nd 2014


8819 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

this still only has 3 ratings

come the fuck on, guys, this rules

zaruyache
September 2nd 2014


6443 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

This is like top 20 for any list come on sheeple get the corns out of your ears.

PiedradeLuna
September 5th 2014


191 Comments


Heard some songs on youtube... definitely liked the sound. If I liked this record which is a good album of theirs to play next? Draconian from what you said Noctus?

DarkNoctus
Contributing Reviewer
September 8th 2014


8819 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

draconian for sure, arcane rain fell is a good place to start for something sort of similar to this.

CaptainDooRight
September 8th 2014


29131 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I like the way the drums production fits well with the atmosphere of the album here. The overall album has really tasty emotions that are quite attractive to me. 'Shades' is a good example of what sounds good to me. I'll definitely make sure to rec this to other users as I feel it deserves A LOT MORE attention.

CaptainDooRight
September 8th 2014


29131 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

And are the tags wrong on the band page? Doom Metal? Feels more liks atmospheric bm/metal/post-metal. Amiwrong?

DarkNoctus
Contributing Reviewer
September 9th 2014


8819 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

doom metal definitely plays into their sound but they're not as doomy as they used to be - their earlier albums are much more in the way of draconian-worship doom metal and now they incorporate black metal a bit more.



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