The mid 2000s saw a huge rise in popularity for post metal bands, which also meant an over saturation of bands. It would be hard to stick out amongst the heavy hitters of Isis, Pelican or Cult of Luna. Lento may very well have brought out an outside favourite in the genre with their debut ‘Earthen’. Having also enjoyed a great collaboration with label mates Ufomammut, they have since moved onto artsy label Consouling Sounds, truly experimenting with riff structure and ambience. They continue on with this, the more finely crafted ‘Fourth’.
Album opener ‘A Penchant For Persistency’ first strikes with straight jabs of well moulded guitar and bass. The band travel seamlessly into higher pitched melodies; the bass absolutely rumbling underneath. They aren't afraid to pick up the pace either, with snare hits and cymbals crashing at a more punk-like pace, and then rolling into some off time signatures. The track is perfect for encapsulating all that Lento is trying to do with their rhythmic dirges.
‘Some Disinterested Pleasures’ carries on the sound, but with some more quirky leads. It bleeds seemlessly into the first of a few, more ambient tracks. These are all standouts in the album; all perfectly segue into the next proper songs. ‘Undisplaceable Or A Hostile Levity’ is eerie with it's forever tension building string drones and ambient, shimmering noise.
Their rolling, dark riffs and stabs of heaviness are broken up further by the juxtaposition of solemnity and hope in ‘Last Squall Before the Crack’ and ‘Let Bygones Be Bygones’ with beautifully delayed and minimal guitar aside deep soaked feedback. They really sound like the soundtrack to sombre daydreams, that would perfectly on an Earth album. Between all of the songs on this album, dramatic playing and experimentation are key; all pieces blending together to create a signature sound that is all Lento’s own. This is most evident in ‘Fourth’s closer, which captures all of this on one track.
There is no grand concept here. Just a band that is enjoying experimenting with the writing of instrumental metal. Big walls of riffs, distant notes of harmony and plenty of well mixed ambient noise. You won't have heard any post metal like this; dark and experimental, and extremely engaging. Don't let Lento go under your radar again.
For fans of Pelican, Sumac and Ufomammut.
‘Fourth’ is out now on Consouling Sounds.