POSTHUM – ‘LIGHTS OUT’
Reviewed by Alan Oliver
This is the Norwegians second full length album. Described in the read up as black metal I had high hopes as coming from Norway, with the country’s previous calibre would this be another cracker? Now what they failed to say was this is more like progressive or what they call in the trade post black metal and being a disciple of the 90’s era I don’t usually have much time for this style but I will give it a fair crack of the whip.
The undercurrent of the whole album bases itself on melodic atmospheric guitars with same chord repeat riffing to create the breaks and form that broken and twisted structure that this genre seems to emulate. Some of the riff structures remind me a bit of Osculum Infame in feel in the parts when the music really gels together. The vocals throughout are a consistent mid range scream in style which to be fair tie the tracks together and are one of the things I do like about the album I think any other style would not have worked on the various levels. There are a few tracks however that do stand out. ‘Red’ has a faster more traditional black metal feel showing they are capable of doing much better things. The drums are higher in the mix than on most other tracks and the change down to more elongated chords creates a good blend into an almost heavy metal style latter section, that adds a taste of say, Sterbend, into the mix. ‘Down On Blood’ takes the fast black metal of ‘Red’ a step further with some chaotic riffage with a more traditional feel. The repetitive melodic rolling rhythm breaks into a more brooding progressive section leading into deeper, bleaker rhythm guitar with the classic jangley played lead overlaid. There is even a catchy hook towards the end that will have you nodding your head along with it. ‘Summoned At Night’ is also a well put together track again faster in pace to begin with a depressive repetitive vibe, which does have an air of Forgotten Tomb about these parts, that break into a slower riff with that jangley lead guitar overlay and which rolls into a deep yet melodic choppy riff. The drums on the track are harder hitting and therefore more prominent and this enhances the whole essence. I think if a few more tracks had been like this one the album would have been more to my personal tastes. I must also mention the slow and sorrowful break section on the title track ‘Lights Out’ which is the precursor to a slow riff with a tinge of reverb to it which blends well with the rest of the track. Like I said I am not a huge fan of this style and as usual most of the tracks just pass me by as uneventful but ‘Leave It All To Burn’ had me cringing with it’s very Deftones sounding slower section.
This is not a bad album and I am sure many will enjoy it but for me it isn’t enough. It isn’t adrenaline pumping black metal neither is it tripped out avant-garde strangeness and I find it lacking in identity, too diluted by weaker elements to be hard hitting. I feel if you must persist with this style you need something of your own to make it stand out or differ from other genre bands. Yes when the faster parts hit you it lifts the whole album but then it just shows how bland the slower progressive parts are. If they had concentrated on the areas where they are solid and not trying to keep adding modern day styles into every track this could have been a very good album. Proves that “Progressive” doesn’t always mean the way forward! 5.5/10
Check out the album below and make your own mind up.
The album is available now on Indie Recordings.