Published on Sunday, 25 May 2014 18:19
Album title: Melting Sun
Release date: 2 May 2014
Label: Prophecy Productions
01. Melting Sun I: Azure Chimes
02. Melting Sun II: Cherry Quartz
03. Melting Sun III: Aquamarine Towers
04. Melting Sun IV: Jade Fields
05. Melting Sun V: Oneironaut
06. Melting Sun VI: Golden Mind
07. Melting Sun VII (artbook bonus track)
Every time when Prophecy Productions releases an album I know that's gonna be something special and so far I was almost never disappointed and the same it's with the last album of Lantlôs. There was a lot of questioning in which direction Markus Siegenhort aka Herbst will take Lantlôs after the amical departure of Neige (Alcest) from the band. Meanwhile Markus also had an adventure with his solo new wave/post-punk project LowCityRain and all the possible ways remained opened. Will he go again more into cold black metal influenced waters, like Lantlôs were in the beginning, or will we face the complete change of direction? I used to like Lantlôs's last two albums, .neon (2010) and Agape (2011), where Neige added his unmistakeable black-gaze hint that he lost with the last Alcest albums, but nevertheless, still we must consider that Lantlôs is mainly Markus's domain.
For this new full lenght album he has gathered a complete line-up for the very first time and it's shown in a very pleasant shift in the sound. With Melting Sun we can't talk anymore about those stark, cold and confussing atmospheres, there's much more warmth, everything is well balanced, the black metal parts are completely lost somewhere in time, but there's that special ambiance and out of this world cinematic atmospheres that take you with ease out this time and space. Just a brief look at the cover artwork done by artist Pascal Hauer will tell you that you'll be sorounded with a warm breeze that leads the listener through this colourful story written by sounds. Now Markus is the only one responsible for the vocal parts, even if his distant, always clean voice is not something extravagant, it's a pleasant guide through the meditative journey divided in six connected parts.
Melting Sun is one of those albums that speaks to the devoted listener only and his will to be just a bit escapistic. Like Neige did this on the last Alcest's album, Markus did it here, but please note, this album is just superficially similar to Shelter. In here's a lot more of heavy guitars and strong drums, here's much more epicness. Almost each one of six album parts has a very special feeling where Lantlôs build on the atmosphere, but in an interesting way just before reaching the ultimate peak they melt it down. Not in a bad way, contrary, somehow there's an inner play with emotions. All this is perfectly shown in "Melting Sun II - Cherry Quartz", where in a brief moment a huge and dense, almost doom metal sound is deliberatelly transformed into minimalistic acoustic line.
While being partialy soft and smooth, it is in its core very heavy and turbulent. Mostly slow to mid tempo paced song structures can be described as something between post metal and dream rock, yes you'll also notice some shoegaze moments, sludge elements and a trifle with ambient, but this is Lantlôs and all those who knew this band from before already know that they can expect something unique, something almost psychedelic. Alluring melodies, crescendos and relaxating atmospheres, yet very complex riffs here and there can captivate, because of its compactness.
If the first four tracks shines because of their well balanced dense solemn compositions, heaviness and atmosphere, where some might find some rough similarities with Isis, Cult Of Luna, Russian Circles, maybe also Katatonia or even Deftones, there's a nice change in feeling with short cold ambiental instrumental part called "Melting Sun V: Oneironaut", that leads into the final charming and dreamy emotive acoustic lullaby "Melting Sun VI: Golden Mind". When the journey is over and if you were just a bit hypnotized by it than you already know what I wanted to tell. It's a perfect, honest and enthralling soundtrack for the summer days to come. Melting Sun is after all a bright album, yet in a specific way can bring some melancholy on the surface. Even though the scene is deluged with many bands and projects trying to create something similar in atmosphere, not many succeed in this like Lantlôs. Melting Sun is not for everybody, you must have kind of adventurous musical taste, you must like to be taken away by music,...
Review written by: T.V.