Monday, June 7, 2010

Initial Impressions: Laethora: The Light in Which We All Burn

Laethora was a band I first heard about a couple of years ago. The side project of Dark Tranquillity guitarist Niklas Sundin in order to explore a side of death metal that DT does not play. Thus, the music on Laethora’s debut album was dark and heavy, with elements of doom and grind. Laethora proved to not be a one-off project as the band released its sophomore album last week. This one to a much wider release apparently as I managed to find it at Hastings here in Norfolk.

I enjoyed their debut album quite a bit, so I decided to pick this one up too, especially since it was getting some pretty positive reviews in Metalsucks and Decibel. Laethora definitely picks up where they left off on the last album. I have no idea where Sundin found vocalist Jonatan Nordenstam, as he is not with any other band, but man does he ever do a good job. He has very deep, guttural death growls that sound decayed and corroded, the way John Tardy of Obituary sounded early on.

Musically, Laethora continues to play a toxic mixture of various metal styles. They are based in death metal, but it is still not the Gothenburg melodic death metal style of Sundin’s other band. It is much heavier and more chaotic. They have improved their songwriting skills on this album as well, sounding more like a complete album than a collection of ideas.

Laethora has improved leaps and bounds on this album. And they were pretty good on their debut. This is a great album. It's hard to believe this is just a side project.

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