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Howling and piercing the night - 100%

JosephPeratalo, December 5th, 2014
Written based on this version: 2010, CD, Lupus Lounge

If there was ever a rising force in the metal scene for the 21st century, I would have to say it would be in the form of post black metal. While I can nearly guarantee that founders of either of these rather-exclusive genres never imagined the two fusing in any sort of capacity, the bands that have been popping up over the past few years have created some rather stunning albums, and the fusion of the two sounds has mostly been favorable to both sides.

Enter Lantlôs, one of the genre’s latest and greatest additions. Headed by Neige, some fans may recognize his name from Amesoeurs, Peste Noire, and, in a more relevant sense, Alcest. While Alcest and Lantlôs essentially share the same genre, where Alcest focuses on the calmer, more relaxing side of the spectrum, Lantlôs seems to be Neige’s emotional outlet. Dark and contemplative, yet bursting with passion on all sides, Lantlôs’ “.Neon” is a rather spectacular achievement. From meditative, relaxing moments to cathartic outpourings, this album spans a spectrum not common in most metal and deserves several listens through.

This album starts out easy and dreamlike, but it doesn’t take long for an utter emotional outburst. The passion here is absolutely brilliant: the riffing is triumphant and cathartic. While almost every song has its calmer moments, the majority of this album seems to be about bringing together the wailing desperation of black metal and the soaring, heart-piercing guitar work of post rock into a brilliant, vibrant cohesion unlike anything I’ve heard before.

I would like to add, the song "These Nights Were Ours" is brutal for the heart, because it reminds us of that love that lost, and for some reason is no longer with us. The next song is "Coma", this makes me feel so angry but at the same time so powerless and vulnerable, is perfect to deal with any type of situation, especially if it is a very difficult situation or difficult to understand. And now the next song "Pulse / Surreal", the best album track, sincerely I don't have words to explain because for me this is the best song. I think that I would carry an entire review custom for that. I can only say that makes me feel so sad, because that reminds me a lot of things from the past, is perfect to relieve you and shout with all your strength with a view to the sky. Everything this song says is so true, damn and harsh reality. The riff is simply beautiful.

The melodies present here are enough to make one picture racing through a cloudscape, wind at one’s back. What impresses me the most is how naturally Neige brings together the two genres. He truly makes it seem like post rock and black metal were made for each other. Not only does he incorporate elements from both genres, he plays those genres simultaneously. So not only is there a post rock influence, he literally plays post rock that sounds like black metal. ".Neon" truly sounds like it should have been a collaboration between Neige and Explosions in the Sky.

What’s also impressive is that while this is still very much black metal with its mood of desperation, this album is, by far, some of the most hopeful sounding black metal I have ever heard. The lyrics are still somewhat dark (the name Lantlôs itself translates to “homeless”; Neige claims that he feels that he has no real home. That’s about as cold as it gets.). The vibrancy of the music creates an atmosphere so bright that I can’t help but visualize raw and utter beauty while listening to ".Neon." This album is appropriately named, as every bit of the music here is unreservedly luminous and radiant. Just when things start to get melancholy, the bright guitar work picks up again, and it never gets monotonous. Neige has poured his all into ".Neon" and it shows mightily.