29 Aug 2021 - Gene
Alternative, Post-Metal, Ambient, Shoegaze | Prophecy Productions | Release date: 30 Jul 2021
Musical Chameleons Lantlôs return 7 years after Melting Sun to deliver not only more of what made that record great but more energy: tighter, harder hitting melodies and dreamy alt-rock effects sweeps, while simply retaining what makes music interesting and fun. There is just so much to explore in Wildhund
It is the perfect record we didn’t know we needed right now. The way Grunge might have hit you at that certain time and place, as, say, Shoegaze caught us up in its abstract escapism; seemed so perfectly poised upon a snapshot overexposed by the emotions left in memory’s wake. You feel that kind of angsty urgency in Wildhund. Whether that urgency lurks in elongated anthemic notes or buoyant Post-Metal riffs, is a matter of how your gaze shifts.
You feel like you’ve also had these listening habits. You get it. Whatever it may be for you in your time and place. It’s never been as nostalgic as it is now! As you free-associate the sonic signposts of your past. Nights spent scanning the radio, hitting on 90s classics around the time The Pumpkins were still Smashing, you know - a little Foo Fighters, a smattering of Therapy? for the subversive types, or just some Deftones, probably? Another night throwing on My Bloody Valentine’s debut, thinking “Well, where does music go from here?” But, in fact, that Heretoir record was never far from the needle. There is a dark edge and there is a menacing light.
Lantlôs seems to assimilate so well the music that moved so many of us into alternative and eclectic musical directions, so effectively, it seems, into something firmly balancing a delicate hand with heavy riffs, original yet inexplicably familiar, shamelessly catchy, and ultimately uplifting.
This record pleases the blissed-out shoegazing hard-hitting riff-loving alt-rock metaller without compromising this really approachable, potent take on a collection of urban poetry anchored by Siegenhort’s dreamlike crooning. All of it balanced so well by cutting guitars and synth effects, all touched by Post-Metal’s driving edge always skirting the prettiest lyrical moments. With great production – the drum tracking in particular sounding stellar on the record – Lantlôs have here a sort of sophomore moment (if you consider their sound began breaking away on Melting Sun) speaking to the Black Metaller’s evolving sensibilities: genre-disassociation, as well as stepping out on a willingness to paint male rage in softer hues. Stylistically, not unlike what you saw developing in acts everywhere from Alcest to Deafheaven. Consider, even, the shapeshifting work of Holy Fawn.
What you get is an astounding, effective new iteration on something that’s always existed in various forms. Wildhund has carved out yet another outcropping of material inspiration and refined it under alt-metal’s dais. The extended version of the record gets you a very interesting, let’s say ‘remix’ of the album, but is really its own beast, which begs its own analysis. Let’s just say it is some sort of dub-heavy, glitchy, dense experimentalism likely arising from the sound-clip repository of the Wildhund sessions. It is a sort of Kid A moment, impervious to reason. But whatever your take on the extra material, Wildhund will likely stand up as a loud monument to silent times.