01. Intrauterin
02. Bliss
03. Bloody Lips and Paper Skin
04. You Feel Like Memories
05. Eribo – I Collect The Stars

[Prophecy Productions]

Luckily, there’s no shortage of projects with French post-black progenitor Neige attached to its creation. Save for the dreadfully boring Old Silver Key album that came out a month or so ago, his discography has been a sure bet on bringing quality.  Alcest‘s 2010 album Écailles de Lune really brought the style of music to my attention and Lantlos‘ .neon sealed the deal for me. Lantlos is a bit different though, because the main drawing point doesn’t lie in Neige. While he is the frontman, the music maker lies in Herbst, who weaves together black metal, post-rock, and just a touch of smooth jazz for good measure. The duo’s third album Agape continues this trend of blackgaze, with further expansion and development of their sound.

If you aren’t familiar, “agape” is Greek word meaning an intense and unconditional love, often used in the context of God’s love for Humanity. Like the album’s title implies, Agape is a much more loving approach than its predecessor .neon in the further expansion of their atmospheric sound. Thoughtful swathes of shoegaze and smooth ambient jazz carry most of Agape in a surprisingly serine musical journey. Even at its most intense, I can’t help but feel at ease with myself and the world around me. Obviously this is a more subjective experience, but Agape has the ability to really take you places. Lantlos can really be quite moving when they want to be. Of course, the blackened edge hasn’t vanished completely. Much of Agape still retains that vaguely frostbitten grimness the genre has to offer in Neige’s distant screams and gain-driven riffs, massive chords, and the stapled tremolo picking.

The contrasting sounds to this album, while disparate, are quite striking and cathartic. “Intrauterin”‘s doom-like monolithic entry devastates before it caves out to feedback and into delicate post-rock tones and soulful crooning while “Bliss” eventually fades from full-on atmospheric black metal into beautiful piano and bass-driven smooth jazz. “You Feel Like Memories” also sports this slow-burning jazz-oriented sound that serves to lull the listener into serenity following the appropriately titled “Bloody Lips And Paper Skin”‘s harsher post-black aesthetics.

Agape‘s only true flaw is its length, clocking in at a paltry 35 minutes. I could really stand for another 20 minutes of music to see where else these two could take things, but considering it only took a year between releases, there’s not much room to complain. Even still, it just feels like Agape ends much too soon. What I wouldn’t give for more soundscapes to drift off to. Regardless, Agape is a great record that should garner the attention of  fans of post-rock and black metal alike.

Lantlos – Agape gets…


– JR

One Response

  1. Nicolas

    I mean yeah, 3.5 for a legendary album. For those of us for whom this album has rebuilt the perception of music it’s a different league anyway. And the words only mean so much.


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