Monday, 3 February 2020

ALBUM REVIEW: Lethvm, "Acedia"

By: Peter Morsellino

Album Type: Full Length
Date Released: 10/10/2019
Label: Dunk! Records

“Acedia” CD//DD//LP track listing:

1). Fatigue
2). Ananke
3). Grey
4). Podavlennost
5). Oratio
6). Schisme
7). Acedia

The Review:

I think that many times, in the world of heavy music, anger and aggression take center stage. The power and force behind our beloved genre is taken for machismo and bravado. We are a misunderstood bunch, us metal fans. But we know the truth. We can hear between those notes and get to the raw emotion that this music is trying to convey. What's more, when done right, we can feel that emotion.

Lethvm's sound on “Acedia” is complex. There is a lot going on, to say the absolute least. Upon first listen, I knew that I liked it, but it took many more to feel that I truly got it. A wide array of clashing genres are at play here, ranging from grinding sludge to haunting ambience, with a folk influence poking its head in at times in harsh contrast to an overarching post hardcore. It's a complicated mix, but one that is very worth the listener's time to sort through and decipher.

The guitar sound on this album is crisp and driving, cutting through the mix like a well sharpened blade. The low end is hard yet elegant, never overstepping its bounds, never becoming overbearing. The drums are skull crushing, the piano and synthesizers are dreamy, but the standout sound you are about to hear is the vocals.

While at times settling into the commonplace bark and growl of hardcore and death metal, the main sound showcased on this album is the anguished wail that floats atop the better part of the album. I won't lie; these vocals won't be for everyone. But I think they provide something more than a guttural shout can, emotionally. These are primal. The cries of the damned. They don't sound cool and no one is trying to make them. These are real. Every time the voice cracks and breaks, it can be felt deep within the soul. A recently defunct Edmonton Screamo outfit called I Hate Sex utilized this same technique to great effect. Maybe my previous acclimation to them primed me for Lethvm, maybe I have acquired the necessary taste. But please, dear reader, do not let this difficulty turn you away. Take the time to listen. In time their purpose will become clear, and you will love it.

With their fourth album, “Acedia”, this Belgian four piece takes us on an emotional journey. This music does not convey anguish, but embodies it fully. Every labored scream pull firmly on the listener's heartstrings, creating a shared experience that cannot be overvalued in an increasingly impersonal world. This band does not tell you. They show you, and show you well.

“Acedia” is available HERE

Band info: Bandcamp || Facebook