Tuesday, 6 January 2015

Lotus Thief - Rervm (Album Review)

Album Type: Full-Length
Date Released: 28/11/2014
Label: Svart Records

‘Rervm’ CD//LP//DD track listing:

01). Aeternvm (08:28)
02). Miseras (08:58)
03). Discere Credas (07:50)
04). Lvx (08:58)
05). Discordia (07:45)
06). Mortalis (06:58)

Lotus Thief is:



Lotus Thief is a US duo with some interesting ideas. Basing a metal album around a classical poem about desirable states (absence of pain etc) and belief systems is a bold move. I don't speak or read Latin in any capacity, but the song titles are recognisably in Latin. If you feel the need to dig deeper, go right ahead, but for the purposes of this review let's go with the music.

It's spacey (in the way that Hawkwind are spacey) and heavy (less like Hawkwind). There are even black metal style beats in some sections. Electronic effects abound and the bass is thick and boomy. The drum sound is not to my taste, but it adds to the chaotic nature of what is on offer, being as it is reverbed and weirdly box like at the same time. The vocals are a real plus point- lovely harmonies and double tracking. There are even some verses kind of sung in a round or call and response- innovative.

Going into individual tracks is not something I will do here- as each track is broadly in keeping with the next. The album works as a whole and tracks are linked by ambient soundscapes that take up a couple of minutes of each tracks outro- kind of cueing up the next piece of music. Suffice it to say that with song titles like ‘Miseras’ and ‘Discordia’ you will get an idea of what to expect- even those of you who have not studied the classics. There are a lot of instruments here too- keys, guitars, bass, acoustic drums, electronic effects... it is not a kitchen sink approach, though. It all has its place and increases the breadth and depth of the album- exactly what a record like this should aspire to. By turns the music is fierce, mellow, droning and even hummable.

Lotus Thief has made an unusual album, no doubt about it. While it will not be to everyone's tastes, I urge you to give it a try. It melds elements of black metal, post metal, psych, space rock and even folk to weave an intricate pattern. It's panoramic in scope and feel and well worth your time. Cool cover art too!

Words by: Richard Maw

You can pick up a digital copy here and a CD/LP copy here.

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