Lantlôs – “Azure Chimes”

Until last year, Lantlôs were probably best known as the band that Neige sang for when he wasn’t doing Alcest. That was never a fair appraisal of Lantlôs or the band’s actual division of labor — Lantlôs was formed in 2005 by its multi-instrumentalist mastermind Markus “Herbst” Siegenhort, and Neige contributed (primarily vocals) only to the band’s second and third albums, 2010’s .neon and 2011’s Agape. Of course, Neige is about as close to a household name as you’ll find in the post-black metal scene, and those were breakthrough albums for Lantlôs, and the latter of those facts is probably at least partly reliant on the former, but even so, Lantlôs was always Herbst’s band — and his ownership was asserted most prominently last January, when he dismissed Neige from Lantlôs (amicably) in an open letter posted on Facebook. Anyway, Hebst is set to return with the first post-Neige Lantlôs LP, Melting Sun. In many ways, Neige’s ghost still lingers; like Alcest’s recent Shelter, Melting Sun has done away with hissing, harsh vocals; here, Herbst is singing only in clean tones, breaking from black metal altogether. The band just dropped Melting Sun’s first single, “Azure Chimes,” which reminds me a lot of Katatonia’s excellent 2009 release, Night Is The New Day: It’s a sweeping dirge of towering, melancholy post-metal with strong darkwave and dream-pop influences. Check it out.

Melting Sun is out 5/2 via Prophecy.

Tags: Lantlôs