Drawn Into Descent - Falloch - Lantlôs
Club Kamikaze, Mechelen, September 22
Following their release of their 4th full length album 'Melting Sun' earlier this year, Lantlôs embarked on a headlining tour, playing clubs and venues all over Europe. Together with kindred spirits Falloch who also have a new album out as we speak.
MoA went to see them playing in the relatively new Kamikaze Club in Mechelen, Belgium. A nice, small, cozy club on the outskirts of the city. Not a massive audience turnout; just enough to make it a nice, intimate gig.
First up were local lads, Drawn Into Descent (interview). I have to admit I only heard a song from their Facebook page, seeing as they don't have any official material released so far. Their blend of black metal with post-rock influences was a nice match to Falloch and Lantlôs, even though Drawn Into Descent's sound is definitely more towards the black metal end of the spectrum. I was surprised to find out they haven't played that many gigs. In fact, their Facebook page states that their first live show was only in June this year. And that is a pleasant surprise because this 4-piece sounds quite convincing on stage. You could see they were a bit nervous, a bit shy even in between songs but that didn't take away from the fact they played a good, heavy set. Aside from some very minor sound issues in the beginning of the set the band displayed a maturity well beyond their age. Lead guitarist Jason told me after the show that the average age of the members is only 22 years, so well done there. Impressive stuff indeed. Sound-wise Drawn Into Descent can be situated as a mix between the distinct sound of DSBM (Depressive Suicidal Black Metal for those not aware of the term) with a hefty dose of Post-rock, and dare I say I even heard some stoner-rock and traditional heavy metal influences seeping through. The bass sound was punchy, the vocals powerful and anguished, effective drumming and some great lead guitar work, all of which made this a very convincing show. I say they are definitely worth keeping an eye out for in the future and in the meantime check out their tracks through their Facebook page or Soundcloud!
Now, I have to admit that I didn't hear anything by Falloch before this show. Somehow I just never got round to it. What I did know was that if the Internet were a reliable source of info (which we all know it isn't, except for MoA of course..) they are gathering quite polarised opinions. The reviews on Metal Archives for their album ‘Where Distant Spirits Remain’ for example were quite hateful, calling them fake posers and whatnot, with others praising their blend of post-rock, post-black metal and folk metal. And that piqued my interest because I quite like bands that so strongly divide the opinions within the metal scene. So with an open mind and open ears I approached the show and after a couple of songs all I could think was: "Why?". Why is it that Falloch receives so much hate from the (black) metal crowd? They've been accused of ripping off Agalloch, down to the rhyming name even. Now I don't nearly know Agalloch's output that well and Falloch has stated they've not been influenced by them, but even if they were is that such a bad thing? Lots of bands take influences from other bands, without anyone accusing them of ripping off someone. Also, they are accused by some of displaying false emotions but I can tell you that's not what I was hearing at Kamikaze. I saw a band that clearly has a vision and a distinct idea of how they should sound. Guitarist and vocalist Tony Dunn displayed a good control over his voice and actually did a good job in emoting the feelings inherent in Falloch's music. Aside from, again, some issues with the sound, they played a convincing show and managed to charm both the hipsters in the audience as well as the more traditional metalheads. At times folky, at times almost radio friendly alternative rock-ish (absolutely no shame in that) and at times heavily rocking it out. This night also marked the release of their new album 'This Island, Our Funeral' on Candlelight Records. If tonight is anything to go by, I will be checking out that album soon. Watch this space.
Which leaves us to headliners Lantlôs, who already have some awesome albums in their backcatalogue. This show was clearly more focused on their last one, 'Melting Sun'. Fans of their older work were not dissapointed though with Lantlôs playing songs from both their 'Agape" and ".neon" albums. Frontman Markus Siegenhort apologised to the audience for having a cold and therefore he would not be able to perform the screams from the older material. He was, however, very capably backed up by guitarist Cedric Holler, who performed the screams instead. Even having a cold, Markus' warm crooning voice shone through in the performance. Already sounding pretty potent on their albums, live they are quite a force to witness. 3 guitars and a bass provided a massive, heavy wall of sound, at times rivalling even Mogwai in fierceness. They were much rawer than on their albums as well. What was also very apparent was how tightly they play together, everyone having a very distinct role and very clearly presence, even in the aforementioned wall of sound. Much of the tightness can be attributed to drummer Felix Wylezik who made the whole band go like clockwork. Impressive, to say the least. As I said, the main focus was on 'Melting Sun', an album that should put Lantlôs firmly on the map, especially after the equally impressive previous albums. Although I felt that the venue for this show was a touch too small for Lantlôs, I met up with Markus after the show and he confessed he much preferred these small, intimate shows. It's nice to hear a band obviously destined for much bigger things in the future to have their feet firmly on the ground and give it their best. Be it for a crowd of a few dozen, a few hundred or a few thousand. A well deserved warm feedback from the audience only confirms that I am certainly not the only one who feels this way.