Winterreise by LethvmRelease date: April 7, 2023
Label: Dunk! Records
If you missed out on the 2019 second album from Belgian unit Lethvm then you will now have two excellent albums to catch up on. Much in the same vein as Acedia, Winterreise mixes post-hardcore, post-metal and doom to create a scintillating concoction of pain, grief and catharsis. Over six tracks the heart and soul are ripped out, mended and replaced but not necessarily in that order.
Passion is one of the main drivers in Lethvm’s music and it is delivered in numerous different guises. ‘Carved’ is a great example of this and it includes hints of the ingredients scattered through the album. The vocals move from low and clean into shredding anguished screams and even feature the operatic deep cleans that the band also utilise. All this moves on a bed of stirring guitar work and a heavy dynamic rhythm section but the vocal delivery is the real driving force of the tracks.
Obviously the vocals would be nowhere without the music but similarly the emphasis they add to the tracks is what delivers the emotional depth. Often the band lays down the stage from which the vocals rise and with angular cutting riffs the anguish can be garnered from the instrumentation but the screaming continues to draw me back. The band can leave you in a positive mood such as the end of the blistering ‘Pretence’ or drag you into a spiral of darkness in the devastating ending to ‘Mournful’ but with album closer ‘Night’ the listener is gently lifted from the gloom as all three vocals staples conspire to push the rising crescendo to a positive, cathartic end.
Lethvm has done it once more, they have created a captivating record full of emotional depth, rage, anger and recovery. Whilst combining some elements of sound which are familiar in these scenes they twist and weave their own sounds, passion and fury into the mix to leave an album which grips for the entirety of its 36 minutes.