Thursday, September 20, 2012

Review of "Lights Out by Posthum

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1. Leave It All To Burn
2. Scarecrow
3. Red
4. Absence
5. Resiliant
6. Down On Blood
7. Summoned At Night
8. Afterglow
9. Lights Out

The sound of Posthum is the sound of dark, Norwegian forests and endless snow-covered plains. It is melancholic, atmospheric and hypnotizing Norwegian Black Metal. They released their debut album “Posthum” in 2009 receiving great reviews from the underground press, and triggering a strong demand for a swift sequel. The eagerly anticipated second album will be named “Lights Out” and released by Indie Recordings September 21st this year. The band was formed in 2004 in a small town in the east of Norway, and until 2009 Posthum kept fairly isolated from other musical communities and bands.  This resulted in their music not being particularly influenced by the trends in the scene, and despite their obvious roots in Norwegian Black Metal Posthum sounds new and fresh. Their debut record ensured them some well-deserved attention that lead to a European Tour with legendary Satyricon and Shining (SE) the same year. In fact, Posthum’s first concert ever was supporting Satyricon and Shining in front of a completely sold-out venue with 800 fans in Antwerp, Belgium. Not a bad way to start their career.  Since then Posthum has played at “Under The Black Sun” Festival in Germany, done several shows in Norway and a toured Europe again with Nargaroth and Chaos Invocation. Since their debut the band has earned a reputation for being a rock solid live band with emphasis on good songs rather than image extravagance. In August 2011 Posthum buried themselves into their rehearsal space “Huset” yet again with all the necessary recording equipment. They didn’t exit until a month later with a fully recorded album. “Lights Out” was recorded and mixed by Morten Opsahl Thomassen and Posthum, while master was done by Peter in De Betou atTailor Maid. “Lights Out” is a well thought through album and the band has been polishing riffs, transitions and song structure until they were 100% satisfied. It sounds dark and gloomy, but still varied with unpredictable elements without breaking the persistent dark mood on the album. “Lights Out” can be described as an atmospheric and gloomy album with a melancholic undertone, even though some of the songs are more aggressive and with progressive elements. Lyrically Posthum draws inspiration from nature, dreams and nightmares, the material and commercial world, and the human nature; fear, inner turmoil, liberation, kindness and vulnerability. The aggression and depression in the music is highlighted in the lyrics. Regardless Phostum does not view themselves as a depressive band. The name “Posthum“ means “after exitus”, which especially refers to compositions and tributes to dead artists. For the band “Posthum” is a tribute and reminder to all life that has existed before them.The album cover is created by the very talented artist Kjersti Mortensen based on Posthum’s music, dreams and sleep paralysis. Posthum is finally ready to release their second album of hypnotizing black metal. “Lights Out” to be released on Indie Recordings September 21st 2012.

To start the album off we have “Untame.” The guitars in this track are great and the part with the voices over top makes it sound really epic. This song is really gloomy with the guitar’s feel to it and the way the riffs are laid out. Taking the way the band feels so far along with “Leave It All To Burn,” I am under the impression that they may take influence from some rock but they blend it well with their black metal roots. This is just my own understanding but I really like it, it’s a different style of black metal then I’m used to. “Scarecrow,” is really catchy and a little upbeat feeling. The vocals are really great on this track. It’s slow but is really great and brings emotions to the feel of the track which is amazing.

The next track “Red” is the first song, to me that feels really blackened. The guitars are more grim as well as the drums, especially half way through with the really awesome patterns. After that black metal piece, they go back to the style prior with “Absence.” They continue with the more catchy, rock, upbeat guitar on this track. The guitars in “Resiliant” are really brutal but also catchy, and the vocals are really grim as well.

“Down On Blood” is probably one of my favourites on this album. It is really chilling, with the faster riffs and the slower bits to keep you on your toes. The next track, “Summoned At Night,” is straight up black metal with the blast beats and patterns in the drumming. It also included some goose bump inducing riffs. Following that is a really eerie keyboard instrumental with “Afterglow.” It was a nice change from the guitar and felt atmospheric and gave me shivers. To end the album, “Lights Out” gives us a nice flowing track with catchy riffs as well as a few piano bits. It’s a mellow song but it brought a nice end to the album.

This album is quiet different when you think of what your usual Norwegian black metal band like Darkthrone, Burzum, and Mayhem usually sound like. Posthum brings a very mellow feel into the mix of what would otherwise be a very grim and heavy style. It was a very interesting sound and although some parts fell a little too light for black metal, I enjoyed this album. I definitely recommend this album to any black metal followers. Also I believe Posthum may be a way to show off Norwegian black metal without people yelling “Satanist!” at you within the first minute of a song.

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