Lantern – Below

Lantern-BelowDark Descent Records continues their onslaught of staunch ancient death metal upheaval and the bleak sounds fall upon these ears as a sign of the past rising again to reclaim it’s throne. I’m still reeling from the greatness of Desolate Shrine and Maveth, but fellow Finnish countrymen Lantern are also calling upon the darkness with uniqueness and more of a mystical atmosphere than the 2 aforementioned, and very different bands.
Musically is where this band impresses me. Lantern specialize in atypical riffing phrases that rage with blasting tremolo based riffs. This element leans into bizarre note selections that flicker upon the cavern walls with reverb soaked atmosphere as Lantern illuminate our passage while we travel deeper into the chamber. Cruciatus is the sole composer of this material and he demonstrates his greatly advanced talents by really selling those malevolent riffs with well considered placement and a playing/writing style that brings to mind the early years of Treblinka/Tiamat… scales that were perhaps subconsciously inspired by Middle Eastern music mixed with metal for that evil sounding twist of the senses. This is most evident on the slower tracks “Demons in my Room” and “Revenant” with their sinister crawl and simplistic melodies that pile on the darkness. Cruciatus has a gift for effortlessly creating this intense atmosphere whether the material is mid-paced, or speeding into disjointed abandon as found on the odd, though intriguing closing track, “From the Ruins”.
With an album’s worth of material this inspired, one hopes the vocals follow suit to accentuate the power manifesting in the songs. Having said that, vocalist Necrophilos’ growled shouting style is an acquired taste. His delivery makes sense, for this style of shouting harkens back to evil metal’s yesteryear, and it comes off sounding strange as if to capitalize on the unique feel within the music, but due to his performance being a bit too loud in the mix, he tends to get in the way of the songs. There is little dimension in his singing style, so the monotone performance ends up being frustrating at times. As he alters his pitch and intensity to achieve a more aggravated screaming style found towards the end of “Manifesting Shambolic Aura” and fleeting moments of the already mentioned and really interesting track “From the Ruins”, we are given a glimpse into a dynamic that would have been a welcomed addition to the final product. The more I have spun this album, the less his vocals have bothered me… I can accept his performance, I just think there is too much of this hollowed out shouting and there would have been more of an impact with a bit of variation.
Regardless of my personal vocal preferences initially getting in the way of my enjoyment of “Below”, the complex and rewarding music on display here forced me to work through my apprehension to fully enjoy this album. Lantern truly have chiseled out a sound all their own. -Marty
Dark Descent Records

~ by martyworm on March 20, 2013.

7 Responses to “Lantern – Below”

  1. Ah, this sounds really cool. Gotta grab it.

  2. Wait…if this is the same Cruciatus that was in Cacodaemon he’s been doing this kind of stuff for a long time now…his guitar work was inspiring 10+ years ago

  3. It is the same Cruciatus.

  4. I’ve been really interested to see how this album turns out. The one song I heard seemed good. Like the cover art as well.

  5. Impatiently awaiting its release…

  6. I felt compelled to come back to this and further comment (after reviewing the two preview tracks again) that the vocalist just ruins this album. he never shuts the fuck up. Leaves no space for the music. IT is annoying as shit. There, I feel better now.

  7. I don’t think the vocalist ruins the music..great album ..with good vocals!

    for those interested here’s an interview I did with Cruciatus :

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