Lantlôs - _Melting Sun_
(Prophecy Productions, 2014)
by: Pedro Azevedo (7.5 out of 10)
Take the album title as a warning: for a band that used to create a kind of post-black metal, even their label describes this as a "summer album" and talks about dream rock along with post-metal. Whether or not that is necessarily a bad thing depends on the listener as much as the album itself. Since you happen to still be reading this, perhaps _Melting Sun_ still stands a chance.

Can this album really be such a departure from previous efforts for Lantlôs? Well, the likelihood of _Melting Sun_ being shunned or embraced by rather different crowds compared to, say, _Agape_ does seem relatively high. There is still significant space for an overlap somewhere between those two crowds though, so those who enjoyed previous Lantlôs output need not start running away just yet.

I am hardly an expert on dream rock, but I would say an affinity for the dreamy tones of Alcest definitely helps here. _Agape_ and its predecessor _Neon_ were not altogether exempt from such influences either, especially given Alcest's own Neige provided vocals on those albums, but there is more at play here and the overall result is quite different. Incidentally, Markus "Herbst" Siegenhort has expanded his duties to include vocals, replacing Neige, so in truth there is probably less of an Alcest connection now. Siegenhort uses a very soft singing style that tends to melt into the music, which is based on a strong guitar sound upon which subtle narratives unfold.

On the bright side (pardon the pun), _Melting Sun_ is a really pleasant album to listen to. Not only is it impeccably produced and filled with fine musicianship, the songwriting also flows really well. For such delicate music, it actually carries significant sonic weight -- without which this could all have fallen flat, given the lack of urgency it conveys. Warm and soothing though the music may be, I do not find its tone happy or otherwise annoying. Where _Melting Sun_ becomes less impressive is in terms of having a lasting impact, of being able to really affect the listener. It can become too easy on the ear, smooth and pretty but lacking a jagged edge that will force you to take notice. A good album, certainly, but a little bland for my taste.


(article published 30/5/2014)

3/4/2012 P Azevedo 8.5 Lantlôs - Agape
10/10/2010 P Azevedo 8 Lantlôs - Neon
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