Lotus Thrones - Lovers In Wartime

31 Jul 2021 - Thorsten

Noisey Alternative Metal | Release date: 30 Jul 2021

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Something from the realms of Yakuza and Neurosis: Lotus Thrones released the debut album on July 30th. One can find some good forward-rocking songs on it, and sometimes also some remnants of the aforementioned giants!

Lotus Thrones is the new project by former Across Tundras- and Wolvhammer-drummer Heath Rave and there are definitely moments when you hear his original instrument shine through. However, he doesn’t fall for the trap of releasing a musician’s-record in the sense that there is one dominating instrument which is placed dead center-stage. Heath shows a meaningful understanding of the other instruments as well and an even deeper knowledge of how to write some good songs.

To be clear, he writes some good Alternative Metal songs (or “Metalgaze” as he calls it) with more than five toes in the sands of 90s Alternative Metal – there are groovy parts as in the opening track ”Precipice”, when the songs is thrown forward onto the next riff by some thunderous and yet now too clear drumming. The ending of said track is like a classic Post-Metal ending performed by Neurosis or some other early Post-Metal pioneers, with the dissonant guitar slowly rippling into infinity. Some beat-patterns later on though sound like classic Post-Punk inspired Industrial-Metal in the Killing Joke- or Ministry-sense. On the other side, one might also not be too far-fetched linking it to some Goth-music like Sisters Of Mercy – especially the vocals seem to have an influence from Goth and Alternative Metal, they are clean, melodious and addictive.

Addiction also seems to be a motif behind the record, especially when Heath Rave talks about the inner demons he had to face after quitting the aforementioned bands: “Five years ago, when I sold my drums, I swore I’d never play music again. There was too much self-induced trauma; I would literally get panic attacks if I thought about my old music and lifestyle let alone try to listen to it. … Subconsciously it was a healing experience, I’m able to once again listen to music and enjoy it even at its darkest moments.” He turned to writing music again last year when, during the pandemic, he had enough time to do it and he mentions that ever since it’s been like flooding out of him, with the next record already finished.

Some highlights of the record are definitely the moments in ”Lovers” and ”Liberate” when it’s easy to recognize Bruce Lamont (Yakuza) and his saxophone which give the tracks this kind of Doomjazz meets Metal character that is a signature of his – but especially on ”Liberate” the drumming is so extraordinary and punctuated the song perfectly that this never feel like a leftover from Lamont’s bands and projects but a very unique song featuring his Sax. The production by Sanford Parker (best known for his work with Minsk, Mirrors For Psychic Warfare or Corrections House, hence the Neurosis-connection) is flawless and highlighting each song in its own way.

The only thing one might complain about is the lack of uniqueness – the record flows very nicely and it is a perfect record to drive to but: it never really grips you by the throat shaking you harshly until there is nothing else to do but listen. It’s not Easy Listening but it’s also never uncomfortable. Nevertheless – can that really be a negative? Rave is definitely on a very good path and listening to the soon-to-be-finished second Lotus Thrones record will surely show where the project is headed.