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To the question of song order - 73%

Colonel Para Bellum, April 20th, 2020
Written based on this version: 2017, CD, Thou Shalt Kill! Records (Digisleeve, Limited edition)

Łatanu play confidently, strictly within the black metal canons, without any tricks and frills. More often than not their songs are based on the alternation of fast black metal and traditional "black metal-ish" guitar fingerpicking. Riffs are one of Łatanu's major assets: penetrant, catchy, and definitely, even melodious. They have something from melodic Swedish black metal, however, one may talk of some kind of originality. And when fingerpicking is applied to a fast tremolo picking riff (pay attention to the second song "Pandemic of Death"), the effect is simultaneously enchanting and gloomy.

The songs, needless to say, don't show a complex structure. Transitions from blast beat to fingerpicking most often are extremely primitive: the riff fades out into the background and the fingerpicking begins. The third song "Penance of Decay" seems to be the most interesting, mainly due to the presence of an unusual militant riff (somewhere in the middle). In the next song, "Black Monolith", one can also note a tough bridge with warlike drums, but, unfortunately, this short episode marks the end of the composition. It's strange, but it looks like Łatanu are afraid to experiment with interesting passages.

The vocals are classically harsh and evil, but not aggressive at all. Considering, that Łatanu's compositions, especially in their slow fragments, are most often dominated by some unearthly anxiety, the album is completely devoid of... hmm... "bestial rage"? Well, not the best term, but it gives wonderful genre's image, more truly, one of the genre's image. By contrast, "Čorny Manalit" is filled with the primary black metal atmosphere – right, another genre's image. This is especially clear in the fifth "Asp Coronation" and the sixth "March Into the Void" – both songs are almost completely mid-tempo. The fifth is remarkable for another battle riff and some other heavy metal riff – both undercovered elements, of course, are very short in duration, as if they can poison Łatanu's true black metal with their "poison of experiment"...

Thus, "March Into the Void" accelerates at long last, but only so that the fast riff almost immediately begins to fade out – like the last ray of hope. If this composition stands on its own place – the emotional ending of the song finishes the album perfectly – then the previous "Asp Coronation" would obviously be worth moving somewhere closer to the beginning, for example, swapping with "Penance of Decay". "Asp Coronation" – perhaps, the most malicious song on the album, – would "harden" the first half of the album. And the most interesting "Penance of Decay" would create an apogee of the album – yes, alas, the album has no apogee. With the existing song order, it turned out that the two mid-tempo songs are the last ones on the album, – as a result, the dynamics of the work are totally lost.