Thursday 16 January 2020

ALBUM REVIEW: Lotus Thief, "Oresteia"

By: Josh McIntyre

Album Type: Full Length
Date Released: 10/01/2020
Label: Prophecy Productions

“Oresteia” CD//DD//LP track listing:

1). Agamemnon
2). Banishment
3). Libation Bearers
4). Wow
5). The Furies
6). Reverence
7). Sister in Silence
8). The Kindly Ones

The Review:

Lotus Thief bring me back to when I was a teenager and fascinated by the likes of epic and poetic metal bands like Opeth and Agalloch. Their sound is expansive, thick, and layered. The songs ebb and flow together to create a vast, artistic album that truly sounds dramatic. It’s quite appropriate that this, their third LP, retells a classical Greek trilogy using a doomy, blackened soundtrack.

If you’re not versed in Greek tragedy you can skim the Wikipedia article for Aeschylus' Oresteia (like I did) to get an understanding of the lyrics. It follows Agamemnon as he returns home from the Trojan War and involves a cycle of murderous revenge. The music is naturally as dark and forceful as is necessary to do the narrative justice. What I really want to point out, though, is how melodic and accessible this record really is. Yes, it is heavy music but the focus here is completely on the songs themselves as parts of the overarching story. We don’t, as listeners, feel an urge to focus on any particular riffs, instead we lean into the progression of each musical piece as it pushes forward like the chapter in a book. Even the more ambient interludes dive us deeper in, brilliantly flowing the longer songs together in a cohesive manner. 
“Oresteia” just sounds good. The production is relatively clean as each musical layer is quite apparent, nicely sitting in the mist together. At no real moment do any instruments distract from the purpose of each song, even during the more aggressive black metal styled sections, and I mean this as a salute to the band’s commitment to driving the narrative to the listener. Sometimes it is best to just stay back and let the song simply exist. The vocals here are absolutely wonderful.  Bezaelith’s melodic and powerful performance across the LP, particularly in “Libation Bearers” and “The Furies,” is what really sells it. Vocal lines are about as confident as one would think is needed to call upon Greek deities to engage in very human affairs of vengeance. 

Lotus Thief deserve to be appreciated by both the underground and more mainstream metal worlds. It would make perfect sense for them to tour alongside larger names such as King Woman or even Alcest. They really hit the mark on creating melodic dark music that, though it doesn’t necessarily have many hooks, could be appreciated by any fan of alt rock that can tolerate a little bit of growling vocals. What I most commend here is the ability to write an album that feels this way while still offering a sense of genuinity. It really feels like Lotus Thief are doing exactly what they want to do. 

“Oresteia” is available HERE

Band info: bandcamp || facebook