Lotus Thief ‘Rervm’ CD/LP/DD 2014

Lotus Thief 'Rervm'I don’t really have a nice introductory paragraph so let’s just state this straight out: Lotus Thief shouldn’t work but it does, and it really really works. Post black metal + mum doom + The Gathering? Sounds like a particularly awful, difficult marriage but yeah, with Rervm they’ve pulled it off super super well.

This can be credited to two things – the often super drawn out, soaring guitar leads and the excellent multi tracked vocals. Lotus Thief don’t really do riffs super well – there’s a few good ones but nothing that really gets your neck hurting – and though that may sound like a pretty big criticism, the strength of everything else in this album makes up for it. It really sounds like all the lead guitar parts are played in half time – drenched in reverb, soaring over the Arcturus-meets-Cauchemar rhythm section, taking plenty of time before a new note is even considered, let alone actually played. But it works; Miseras being a good enough example, this heavenly, supremely pleasurable mixture of kinda rocky, kinda doomy rhythmic churn blown out by these supreme spacey leads.

Initially, my thought was “this is cool, but perhaps would benefit from an increased instrumental focus”, but this changed upon repeated listens. I will admit I’m not normally a fan of female vocals – I can’t really articulate why, but dammit if the vocalist isn’t incredible. All these interesting multi tracked harmonies and alternate lines, letting the guitars breathe, soaked in reverb, these fascinating incantations that consistently evoke all this sort of fascinating mystery and enigma. Atmosphere is a subjective term, I know that, but it is super applicable here, it’s a very spacey, very deep album, bringing forth all those strange thoughts of creation and infinity and death and etc etc etc that’s not all that different from when you stare at the night sky for a bit too long.

A very contemplative album, perhaps, which I assume is what the creators were going for. Yeah, I’m not sure how it works as a metal album, but it shouldn’t really be judged as such, everything about this album is more geared towards getting your eyes rolling back into your head than any sort of visceral, physical reaction. The best example of this is perhaps that whenever a blast beat gets brought out (in almost every song – not a bad thing, as I’m always keen for using blasts as a dynamic feature), things get even dreamier than usual, even floatier than usual, even woah-man-my-hands-are-huge than usual.

Not much else to say really (being a bit drunk doesn’t help). This is a seriously good album, and something that will likely end up in a few top 10 lists when this year is done. Not perfect, you get the impression that it could all be a bit less rocky and a bit more further out, but it’s rather close. An excellent and remarkably pleasurable bit of listening.

Label: Svart Records
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Scribed by: Caspian Yurisich