Sunday, April 27, 2014

Lantlos - Melting Sun (2014)
After Neige, vocalist of Alcest, left the more black metal-oriented band Lantlos after their last album "Agape," the future of Lantlos was murky. Thankfully, it has been nicely resolved with a complete shift away from black metal and towards post-metal. This isn't the kind of dark, depressive post-metal associated with acts such as Cult of Luna, nor is it technical in any way like Russian Circles. Rather, it's beautiful, bright, expressive, and downright uplifting while being quite heavy at the same time. I like to think of this album as "Shelter's" metal brother. From the winding ambient soundscapes filled with subtle, emotion-laden melodies to the raw intensity of the riffs, this is an album that sets the listener on a journey through forgotten corners of the heart and mind. It's hard not to be completely hypnotized by the vast, immersive sounds of this album, nor is it so easy to restrain your imagination from running wherever it pleases as you're soothed by the calm sounds of, for example, "Golden Mind." Perhaps the most captivating moment on the album is the intro on "Cherry Quartz" which transitions from serene to heavy-as-lead so gracefully and effortlessly it'll likely leave your jaw on the floor. The only fault I could find on this album is the sometimes stale vocals, but it's a minor issue on an otherwise incredible achievement. I absolutely loved Lantlos' second album ".neon" with it's dark atmosphere and Neige's melancholic howls, but "Melting Sun" marks a whole new chapter for the band and I can honestly say I love it just as much. In a word, it's glorious and a unique addition to the post-metal genre.

(Special thanks to Prophecy Productions for providing me an advance copy.)

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