Haunting The Chapel

Lantlôs – “Pulse/Surreal” (Stereogum Premiere)

Neige is on a roll. Over the past few years, the French multi-instrumentalist’s honed his “post-black metal” (or whatever you want to call it) to an inspired blackened, dramatic, triumphant pitch. It has sweet, bleak, romantic hooks. The atmosphere’s elegant, furious, gorgeously layered. Songs bleed compellingly into the background while lodging themselves deep in your headspace. Over the last 16 months or so, he’s given us Amesoeurs’ amazing self-titled collection of urban-existential/isolationist pop and Alcest’s latest, Écailles de lune, a stellar showing of his more rural shoegazing black ‘n’ blue metal. Finalizing the triptych, he (with co-founder/multi-instrumental cohort Herbst) just released Lantlôs’ excellent sophomore album, .neon. Herbst handles main songwriting duties, but the overlaps are there — the sound’s closer to Amesoeurs’ distorted decay than Alcest’s airier childhood idylls/fairytales. The songs feel expansive, but whiz by in less than 40 minutes. You’ll recognize Neige’s voice on “Pulse/Surreal,” an 8-minute track that suggests the dynamic breadth of the collection. In turn, Les Discrets mastermind (and ex-Alcest bassist) Fursy’s cover art offers a visual for the swirling, fists-in-the-sky angst.

Lantlôs – “Pulse/Surreal”

.neon is out via Prophecy. You can hear another album track “Neige De Mars” at MySpace.