The trajectories bringing together doom and black metal have been in full swing for a while now. There’s something about the blend of doom’s heavy approach and its bouts of aggression and black metal’s abrasive vocals that just sets people going. The resulting music, including bands like Downfall of Gaia, מזמור or Woe, is a mix of terror, feedback, screeches and unbridled misanthropy that speaks to the core parts in us which enjoy metal in all its forms. Lethvm is very much of this sub-genre or, rather, mix of sub-genres; their 2017 release, This Fall Shall Cease is a study in bleakness, fueled by different elements of the genres we listed above. Let’s head on over the jump for your first taste of their brand of corrosion.
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Oof. “Winter’s Journey” is perhaps the hardest hitting track on this album, in large part because of the quiet segment near the middle, riddled with the burn marks of the dominant vocals. Those vocals are Lethvm’s link to black metal, all raw pain, melancholy and rage writ large. They even warrant a comparison to the body and their brand of bone chilling intonations in how important they are to the track’s energy and momentum. The swagger and straight-forward violence of the opening riff contrast quite well off the rest of the track, decidedly more melancholic and ponderous as they are. Over everything reigns this depressing and oppressive atmosphere generated from distortion-heavy guitars tones and chiming cymbals.
The rest of the album works at these ideas, like a trapped animal gnawing its bones, going deeper and deeper into these whirlwinds of despair and vitriol. It’s a perfect example of the power the mix between black metal and doom can have, the potentials of both genres unlocked by the merging of the two. Sit down, tune out, listen to this; forget the world and its filth as you wallow in someone else’s.