Saturday, 1 August 2020

ALBUM REVIEW: Lantern, "Dimensions"

By: Thomas Gonzales

Album Type: Full Length
Date Released: 10/07/2020
Label: Dark Descent Records

“Dimensions” CD//DD//LP track listing:

1. Strange Nebula
2. Beings
3. Portraits
4. Cauldron of Souls
5. Shrine of Revelation
6. Monolith Abyssal Dimensions

The Review:

It is not often that I am faced with an expired deadline for a review, but, then again, I am also not often relegated to self-imposed quarantine, and social distancing. The last few months have been bizarre to say the least, and while the music industry is far less effected than film, the impacts of COVID-19 cannot be easily ignored. “Dimensions” dropped right at the same time I began preparations to return to work; and for me, Lantern’s latest release, “Dimensions”, was an album deserving of far more than a cursory glance, or half-assed write-up. It is a multilayered effort, deserving of an in-depth vivisection to really analyze each substratum of its composition.

While the actual review portion of the release was heavily procrastinated on, I found myself regularly putting “Dimensions” on play throughout my isolation; there is an explicit atmosphere Lantern communicates with their writing; often bleak and weighty, but the energy is intoxicating. Whether I was doing the dishes, cleaning, or combatting the pandemic with new “COVID Safe Practices” in the workplace, I could find time to enjoy “Dimensions” in my daily life.

Influenced by death, horror, and the occult, their inspiration from the mysterious and macabre, ooze out between their screeching melodies, and thrashing riffs, like a creeping and cognizant ooze of malevolence. It isn’t lighthearted by any means, as showcased in it’s beautiful album cover by Timo Kokko, but as others have said, they are a light in the darkness of Black Metal. It could be the melodic sensibilities in their song writing, or the distinctive vocal work of member Necrophilos; but where you often find chaos in the genre, Lantern breathes a sort of life and order into their exploration of death. Formed in 2007, the current line-up featuring Cruciatus, J. Poussu, St. Belial, and the aforementioned Necrophilos may be their finest effort yet and would not be surprising to see on many year end lists.

Hailing from the fetid womb of our Metal Motherland, Finland, Lantern leads their listeners on a dark journey through the underworld, like Kharon, the ferryman of the River Styx. It is no less dark or depraved than other bands in Black Metal, but there is an almost Alighieri-an poetry, meets Lovecraft nature to their vision. Musically, you can expect a diverse amalgamation of brutality and melody, dusting a metaphorical soundscape of storms and skeletons.  At the end of the day, I am happy to be writing again, and I am glad it was Lantern – “Dimensions” that kicked things back into gear. There is a level of despondence that takes over, when the rush of everyday life stops, and it was art that kept me going in those dark times.

“Dimensions” is available HERE

Band info: bandcamp || facebook