LANTERN "II: Morphosis" LP (Dark Descent Records 2017)
Since LANTERN's debut full-length 'Below' perfectly got the zeitgeist of the mid-10's dark and arcane DM revival DARK DESCENT RECORDS has almost become synonymous for, it would have made perfect sense for those Finns to simply so to speak return to very same cave and lock themselves up down there with no heat nor light for two weeks straight to conjure the same type of pitch black music. But this is where you draw the line in between those happy with their little niche and the real artists, destined to expand their horizon no matter what... Fear not,'II: Morphosis' isn't trying to reach for the light either and still reeks of the ancient metal ov death foul stench. And even if they've now officially integrated the three extra members the initial duo had with them since 2011 for live activities and recorded it as a five piece, there's still here a palpable sense of obscurity throughout those nine songs, as if being seen through a veiled curtain.
But many actually will probably actually be quite surprised by how articulate but also strangely melodic the 'new' LANTERN is. While a track like "Cleansing of the Air" or the epic instrumental "Necrotic Epiphanies" carry a strong thrash influence that can also be found in Necrophilos' scruffy vocals, the album is first and foremost packed with twisted riffs that spiral on and off that pierce through the thick fog it conjures like razors. But no matter how hectic the whole thing gets, they never loose control, like some kind of bizarre version of TREBLINKA not led by clueless teenagers but proper musicians determined to get on a short leash the madness that drives them.
Like on 'Below', the album's brilliantly detailed yet disturbing artwork courtesy of Zbigniew M. BIelak is a collage of various concepts developed in the songs while Dan Lowndes of Resonance Sound Studios took care of the mixing and mastering duties, resulting in an album both daring and unique.
- Olivier "Zoltar" Badin