LETHIAN DREAMS - Season of Raven Words CD
There are those times when you just want to relax, throw on some soft majestic music, then lay down as the sounds carry you away. It's times like that when you need LETHIAN DREAMS. Hell I'm feeling the pinch just sitting here trying to write about this while it's playing in the background. The funny thing about this release is how the vocals play such an important role in shaping it into the genre form. On here this is atmospheric doom with Carline Van Roos hauntingly beautiful vocals. But if someone else with harsh shrieks was to be singing then someone could call it atmospheric black metal. Some guy at Pitchfork might even name it transcendental, post-shoegaze or even black-gaze then go into the mens room and blow his editor. I would not be surprised if someone compared this to their fellow countrymen, ALCEST, which would be a compliment albeit a kneejerk one as well as being completely off base. LETHIAN DREAMS is a doom metal band and ALCEST hasn't played metal since their first album.
The reason why I introduce such thoughts is that the soundscape on Season of Raven Words is so layered with distortion and guitar treble that it's very close to black metal. Then again if it was a male voice adding growls then it would be funeral doom. Never discount the vocal performances people since they hold more things that are truly amazing. Speaking of which France's LETHIAN DREAMS started creating their brand of dark sounds back in 2002. The band is actually a two piece consisting of Carline Van Roos who contributes the a fore mentioned beautiful vocals as well as performing on guitars, bass, keyboards and the drum programming. Also there's Matthieu Sachs who's responsible for the hypnotic guitar work as well. In their first seven years together the duo (with help from past band members) only released two demos. Then in 2009 they released their debut full length Bleak Silver Streams. To say it was an amazing release is putting it mildly and I'm not alone in that crowd.
So now after a few years, although for some fans it was like an eternity, the duo finally releases their sophomore effort. Season of Raven Words is quite different from the debut. Personally I like this a lot. First off Carline is all by herself in the vocal department on here. (Carlos D'Agua from the debut is not to be found) when you combine the bleakness of the melodies with the vocals Carline comes off sounding sad in a past tense poetic way. Secondly Sachs' guitar work on here is a mixture of being majestic, ethereal and at certain times raw. Even though it all comes forth in a dreamlike quality this release will hold your attention throughout. Dark metal music has a way of seducing the listener and Season of Raven Words does just that.