Lantlôs - Melting Sun

Chances are if you’re familiar with German post-black metal/blackgaze outfit Lantlôs it’s because of their association with Alcest, whose mainman Niege provided vocals on the group’s two very Alcest-sounding previous full-lengths, 2010’s .neon and 2011’s Agape. Lantlôs and Niege have since amicably parted ways, but it’s still very difficult to think of one band without immediately thinking of the other, especially since Lantlôs has largely abandoned their black metal roots for something mellower on their latest album Melting Sun, just as Alcest did with Shelter. But while Shelter is a disappointingly tentative and underdeveloped album, Melting Sun is an enjoyable, mostly successful reinvention of the Lantlôs sound.

Through the first four tracks on Melting Sun, Lantlôs sound an awful lot like a dreamy post-metal band. There’s still a (non-black metal) heaviness to the songs, but there’s also a ton of (non-black metal) atmosphere as well. The nearly 10-minute “Cherry Quartz,” which is probably the strongest track on the album, is a perfect example; the track’s first five minutes alternate heaviness and atmosphere to build tension in a way not dissimilar to a band like Russian Circles before shifting into the vocal section. “Aquamarine Towers” is another standout, with a particularly stunning middle section that sounds like a cross between Year of No Light and Jesu.

 My only issue with the album is with it’s sequencing. The first four tracks are really solid, but the album loses a lot of momentum on its final two tracks, the three-minute ambient guitar wash “Oneironaut,” which would have worked much better as an intro (or not on the album at all), and closing track “Golden Mind,” which, while not necessarily a bad song, is the most ephemeral track on Melting Sun and just kind of dissipates at the end, which is a disappointing way to end an otherwise solid album.

Melting Sun is available directly from the band via their BigCartel store