Reborn in Retaliation
Christianum Records 2009
Eschewing the more chaotic and apocalyptic style of many of their countrymates, Finland's Lathspell, spawns severe yet controlled black metal that has more in common with bands like Marduk or Ondskapt. Throne of Blasphemy ushers in disharmonic notes and sharp instrumentation. Tight drumming accentuates the cold, calculated riffing bringing to mind the surgical violence of Antaeus as the tension and pace continues to increase. The ghostly rasp of Grim666's vocals which start as the song reaches blasting proportions add an unearthly quality to the music. The lengthy track drifts in and out of moody slower melodies and into blasting Scandinavian black metal. No slow build-up on Forward the Spears as it immediately surges forth, guns blazing with lightning quick double-bass drumming and Marduk-ish firestorm melodies. The song is undeniably merciless in its intent until it breaks into a contrasting calmness of a somber melody and the sounds of medieval conflict. Slowing things down is Blovskog with its shrill melodies and swaying bass-line. There is some nice cymbal work toward the end of the song. A Bouncy and triumphant main riff explodes into freezing riffs and blasting drums on Retaliation. The track possesses an almost martial feel to it mainly due to the drumming and the dizzying riffing that constantly marches forth into battle. Lathspell's third full length is traditional Scandinavian black metal that concentrates its firepower on powerful riffing, impressively fast tempos and surgical execution of its cruel songwriting. If you like your black metal to strike a balance between Antaeus and middle-era Marduk then Lathspell with surely paint your soul with nightmarish imagery of impenetrable darkness.