Band Name: Letters from the Colony
Album Name: Vignette
Distributor/label: Nuclear Blast
Released: February 2018
Vocals: Alexander Backlund
Guitar: Sebastian Svalland
Guitar: Johan Jönsegård
Bass: Emil Östberg
Drums: Jonas Sköld
2: Erasing Contrast
3: The Final Warning
4: This Creature Will Haunt Us Forever
7: Glass Palaces
Letters from the Colony are a relatively young band. Birthed in 2010, they have been through several lineup changes and misfortune. After the first conception of the album way back in 2015, they now bring us their first, full album, ‘Vignette’, delivered to us by Nuclear Blast Records.
As ‘Vignette’ is only 9 tracks long, I wasn’t concerned that I would be wondering when it would end – always a minor worry for me when I am introduced to a new artist, am I going to be wanting the next hour of my life back? Well, thankfully, I rather enjoyed the hour!
The album combines progressive metal with the conventional harsh vocals, churning riffs, a severely low bass and machine gun drums, fused with atmospherical, acoustic undertones, even with a nod to some jazz at one point. Part of me wonders whether these inclusions of, what could be described as relaxation in the music, is perhaps to offer the audience an opportunity for a breather during one of their gigs, which I imagine are undoubtedly a lively, high octane event. I did wonder that there was maybe an influence of the dramatic, varying landscapes that the band grew up amidst in Sweden. Maybe for me, some of the fluctuations in tempo, pace and genre within a single song may have been a little confusing. I found myself checking the track listing to see if it was still the same song. I was however, constantly being surprised by the creative use of their diverse range of instruments and a few solos were also welcomed by my ears. LFTC seem to have taken some risks which I find refreshing and enticing, but I feel it may divide audiences with their opinions – I’m almost certain that I heard a saxophone at one point. (Listen if you don’t believe me.)
The bottom line is, I thoroughly enjoyed listening to this album. ‘Vignette’ is not samey, every track is contrasting and unique but takes you on a journey from the first track to the last. I now wait in eager anticipation for Letters from the Colony to hit the UK scene and begin touring, so I can witness how such a heavy and diverse album translates into a live show.