Lorn – Subconscious Metamorphosis

lorn_subconscious_metamorphosisSubconscious Metamorphosis, the second full-length offering from Italy’s Lorn, initially struck me as the type of black metal that paints a mental picture of staring out upon the majestic vastness of space from a safe vantage point of course. This potent power trio achieves such a feat by sticking to the ice cold foundation of the genre which may come as a surprise to all of you as it did me. It is rare to come across a band that utilizes often dissonant riffing that “hints” at melody, but is content to toil in a fervent wash of controlled noise, along with other tried and true elements to somehow come out the other side of a listening experience that is something highly enjoyable and even a bit unique. So how can this be?

Definitive Conjunction launches off this album with a cosmic sea of atmosphere/reverb emitting from that slick guitar tone, only for the mid-tempo delivery to really allow the simplistic, though very passionate and moving riffage to swirl off into the aether, along with our own wonder for what lies among the stars. The vocals are equally as reverb drenched and quite effective in matching the emotive pull of the music. Harsh mid-ranged screams are buried within the mix, sticking out just enough to have their presence felt. It adds to the eerie vibe spinning at the core of this material. Strident Orbits follows up the impressive voyage witnessed on the leadoff track with it’s own equally interesting mission. I tend to lose track of instrumental chunks of music, but this song possesses just enough rhythmic variation and grandiose riff wanderings that it felt more like swirling around the perimeter of a black hole with the chaotic dissonance meets ever flowing atmosphere enchanting my thoughts. A very well considered piece of music that benefits from synth and experimental elements to heighten the feeling of blackened space madness.

As the album progresses, Lorn issues more of a hypnotic decree that holds fast to a meandering, dare I say “jam” band aura of exploration. Not since the first song have we witnessed vocals (though several lines are barely audible in Aeons Fears III) and I found the lack of otherworldly demonic vocalizations to be a hinderance to the overall interest of Subconscious Metamorphosis. Even though I still enjoyed the headspace Lorn have placed me in, the songs seem to lose their gripping appeal since many of the tracks remaining on the album are reduced to a 2 riff maximum, being carried along by the synth textures and other sounds to stir the mood.

In the end, I still find myself drawn to Subconscious Metamorphosis, for there is a definite quality to Lorn’s expansive writing style that is engaging and seemingly otherworldly. It just seems like they started off strong with a fresh spin on a tired genre, trading up a heady/powerful statement, for drifting through empty space with little life or voice to cry out for help. Sorry, but all the sounds, electronic trickery and yes…. drugs at ones disposal will have a hard time making that sound interesting. Having said that, Lorn are onto something bigger with Subconscious Metamorphosis. Have they fully arrived yet? Not quite, but their tattered vessel will be returning to space dock soon for repairs and to be made ready for what will hopefully be a more focused mission in years to come. -Marty
I, Voidhanger

~ by martyworm on October 23, 2013.

One Response to “Lorn – Subconscious Metamorphosis”

  1. This is a great album. Really sinks in after about 3 listens. Very hypnotic and great writing.

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