LLNN - Unmaker

18 Sep 2021 - Simon

post-metal/post-apocalyse/hardcore | Pelagic Records | Release date: 24 Sep 2021

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LLNN return with another slab of earthquake inducing heaviness which is an astonishing feast of post apocalyptic dread

The heaviest natural stable element is Uranium which has an atomic number of 92. The heaviest post-metal band is arguably Copenhagen’s LLNN. The band first announced themselves with their 2016 debut album Loss and then they followed that up in 2018 with the critically acclaimed Deads which made greater use of synthesisers. They return with this latest album ominously titled Unmaker

The bands love of horror and sci-fi has led to an increase in synths on this album, but they are deeply woven into the very fabric of the music from the ground up so as to accentuate all that they have to say, which is quite a bit.

Right out of the gate, the band waste no time in laying down a statement of intent with the menacing Imperial which continues the excellent use of those synths to paint pictures of dystopian landscape for your ears. The atmospheric beginnings are then unceremoniously bludgeoned in a down-tuned deluge of belligerent wonder, which is quite frankly an assault on the senses, but in the best way imaginable. Lead singer and guitarist Christian Bonnesen has an anguished growl which reminds me of Linus Jagerskog from much missed band Burst.

The sense of dread continues on Desecrator with guest vocals from the satisfyingly demonic sounding Matt McGachy of Cryptosy in fact, by this point, it’s not just dread that these songs will make you feel, but utter pant wetting terror. The song descends into chaotic almost hardcore tinged madness which without such a firm hand on the tiller, would sound out of control and a mess, but it really doesn’t’ at all.

Those looking for a respite may think they find it in the song Interloper with it’s ambience fuelled intro it acts almost like a breather, this however does not last long, not even 2 minutes to be precise before exploding with that sense dread you’ve come to expect up to this point, albeit one with a greater sense of operatic wonder buried beneath the searing, post-apocalyptic music.

This is not an album you put on for a bit of easy listening and a chat with Nan over a cup of tea, although it might be a lot of fun to play this to your nan and see how she reacts! No, this is an astonishing album which positively revels in its almost gleeful disregard in anything approaching an easy listen, but this is absolutely part of its charm.

It’s like an artist painting a picture by spitting, shouting and clawing at the canvas followed up by throwing any paint he can lay his hands on with as much force as he can muster and then collapsing on the floor at a job well done. To some folk, it will just be something which is misunderstood and disregarded for being too ‘in your face’ or extreme. Those people are wrong. It just needs a bit of willingness to look past the superficial and look for the deeper parts which is like finding diamonds after digging through a mountain of rock. Sure, this is pummelling, intense, remorseless music but in a stroke of almost cosmic genius, it’s also at the same time, melodic, thoughtful and wonderous. It’s beguiling stuff for sure and if you are in the right frame of mind, it’s utterly magnificent.