Lento - Earthen
Instrumental Sludge, Ambient
7 songs (41:07)
Release year: 2007
Lento, Supernaturalcat
Reviewed by Goat

For every band playing run-of-the-mill heavy/light Metalcore these days, there seems to be two playing atmospheric sludge of the type perfected by Neurosis. The leaders of the genre – Isis, Cult Of Luna, Pelican, and of course the great neurotic masters themselves – have their work cut out in staying relevant to the interests of the fickle public, which makes it interesting whenever new bands try and shoulder in on the act, considering themselves capable of jamming with the best.

Being fair to Lento, however, the band is most definitely good at what it does. Going for an instrumental approach, Earthen walks the heavy/light path, with Doomy riffs and uncanny ambient atmospherics. A third guitarist and some interesting writing is what saves the band, songs being noticeably different from each other, along with some interesting twists along the way.

Opening tracks Hadrons and Need push the bone-jarring heaviness and do it well, but it’s the drone-like ambience of Subterrestrial where the album really takes off, featuring an insectoid hum with strangely Eastern melodies rising and falling in the background. Currents returns you to the heaviness, albeit with this new background action to make for an unsettling whole, and then the quiet Emersion Of The Islands slides by, another entrancing ambient passage. Album finale Leave, at just under ten minutes the longest track on show, opens with spacious, warm ambience, ominously veering on Noise before fading away as if nothing had happened.

To be honest, this interweaving of heavy and ambient tracks doesn’t meld as well as the band doubtless intended, as the ambient tracks work their magic faster than the others. The instrumental nature also reveals gaps in the music; a weakness that the odd harsh yell or female wail could have covered up easily. However, none of the tracks here are anything near bad, just a few years too late to make a real difference to a public who’ve heard it all before. Despite that, as a debut, Earthen is impressive – if the band can make the transition between heavy and light tracks smoother then it’ll be a force to reckon with indeed. One to keep your eye on.

Killing Songs :
Subterrestrial, Currents, Emersion Of The Islands, Leave
Goat quoted 76 / 100
Other albums by Lento that we have reviewed:
Lento - Fourth reviewed by Andy and quoted 80 / 100
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