Died With Fear by Les Lekin

Release date: November 20, 2017
Label: Tonzonen Records

Les Lekin‘s debut release was an album of fits and starts, but showed some exciting promise. There was enough to warrant repeated listens certainly, and those initial hearings play well into second release Died With Fear which shows a band really grasping who they are, and absolutely brimming with confidence. Indeed, they sound absolutely revitalised at times, making this a somewhat exciting listen.

Fully instrumental, the band don’t let the lack of vocals get in their way of a good story and over the course of this album, they let the requisite instruments do the talking for them. At four tracks long it may feel like you are being given short shrift, but behind those one word song titles lie worlds of tumultuous excitement and beauty. It’s an album which carries on the aesthetic set in motion by bands such as Tangerine Dream, who let the music take you on a journey, allowing yourself as the listener to build your own story.

Behind the titles ‘Orca’, ‘Inert’, ‘Vast’, and ‘Morph’, are the building blocks of a story developed through music. The crushing doom of ‘Orca reliving the cascading stormy seas as the behemoth thrashes through them. The trippier interior of ‘Inert’ takes you deep within your mind, as those previous Pink Floyd tendencies are developed into something much more of their own making, as Les Lekin find their own voice behind the music. It’s music which becomes a kind of symbiotic reaction between player and listener as each seek to link themselves into the story. It’s heavy psych as it should be done, never over-reliant on repetition, but on finding those weirder nuances within sound.

‘Vast’ is an interesting exercise in progressive music as they turn the traditional crescendo on its head by starting with the epiphany and leading backwards to a more subdued second half full of blues licks, and a jittery beat. It then reaches once more for that crescendo, except this time it is the lead solo playing us out rather than the riff. Sonically, its built to move mountains, but inside lies a deep fragility which makes it seems so much more human than it should.

The various thematic motifs are tied up within ‘Morph’ giving a sense of completion to the album, and the sense that your journey is coming to an end. As the music stops, there is a feeling of accomplishment, and that the band have taken you as far as you are willing to travel. Repeated listens may result in different stories, but for the time the one you have been on is over. For the band, they seem to be almost trapped within this bubble of a story, always ready to break out and take you on a journey once again. The only trigger is you, as you yearn to press play once again. It’s a psychedelic warmth of companionship, provided by a band from Austria, and accepted by listeners all over the world. It’s a sign of a very good album, from a band who look to have really found themselves. Great music for weird times.

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