Genre: Post-Black Metal
Release Date: 28th October 2011
It seems just barely a year has passed and Neige’s other pet project, aside from ALCEST, has borne another album. Of course, while fans should be happy that LANTLOS is putting out another create Post Black Metal effort, they will also be sceptical that just barely a year has passed, leaving little room for fruition or maturity. Even bands that do the usual “every two year” release have trouble not rehashing material that was done before, leading to slumps. So the real question is… does ‘Agape’ measure up to LANTLOS’ past work, or will it be a flop because it is more of the same? The album is barely five tracks, and though some are epics, overall, the result feels about the same as the last album. There are the heavy, churning Black Metal tracks mixed with softer passages that would relate to AGALLOCH or LES DISCRETES, and other times just pure, Post Metal dreamscapes that are either good breathers or a waste of time (depending on preference).
Those that heard LANTLOS’ debut album will find ‘Agape’ as a pleasant surprise. While ‘Lantlos’ was a harsh, distorted piece of Black Metal, ‘Agape’ has a bit more progression to it. However, compared to the last release of ‘.Neon’, it is hard to find much difference between the albums. The opening track ‘Intrauterin’ is thick, heavy and distorted sounding like a LEVIATHAN track but not is terrifying as Wrest’s vocals are absent. Neige’s vocals have that same high pitched shriek that make his work here much more “metal” oriented as opposed to his other projects which are more Shoegaze or Psychedelic. The guitars and drums are solid when mixed into the distortion and often quiet down for progressive, quieter moments that sound more along the lines like they are from LES DISCRETES, except there is a lack of clean vocal work. Listeners will hear these two kinds of sections battle on back and forth, which is the typical standard for Post Metal these days: keep a heavy atmosphere but make it varied up so it doesn’t drag on like Sludge Metal. The shorter tracks like ‘Bloody Lips and Paper Skin’ are more of the Progressive Metal vein, sometimes ending up being devoid of vocals altogether. However, ‘Bloody…’ is a stronger Progressive offering because it mixes around well with heavy and soft moments. ‘You Feel Like Memories’ is a bit of a snooze because it is so quiet it is difficult to hear, prompting a turning up of the speakers which suddenly explodes with the return of the Black Metal in ‘Eribo’.
‘Agape’ is not bad, but unfortunately nothing new for LANTLOS fans. The impact between albums is much less greater, even though the songwriting is just as strong. Those that have heard ‘.Neon’ will probably shrug their shoulders and spin it once before shelving it as opposed to those who are just getting into the band. Unless one is a diehard Post Black Metal fan or a diehard of Neige and co. On other projects, this isn’t going to make “Black Metal Highlight of the Year”. Whether or not ‘Agape’ is a sign of LANTLOS’ comfort zone is not a certainty, but hopefully they will remain as dynamic as ever and continue to surprise and inspire fans to the best of their ability by continuing to change up their music with every release they come out with. To have them become stagnant and put out the same material like many other Black Metal bands do would be a tragedy indeed.
01. Intrauterin - 9:49
02. Bliss - 7:56
03. Bloody Lips and Paper Skin - 4:47
04. You Feel Like Memories - 4:31
05. Eribo - I Collect the Stars - 8:20
Herbst - Guitars, Bass, Keyboards
Felix Wylezik - Drums
Neige - Vocals
Total: 5 / 10