Flavio Cafiso – Guitars/Vocals
Jörn Zennberg – Bass
Simone Lamberti – Guitar/Synths
Mike Alksnis – Drums
1. It Burns
2. Theiaphobic Ansia
3. Cursed With Embodiment
4. SN1987A Space Alteration Machine
5. Grey Haze
7. Catacomb Eyes
8. Towards Nothingness
Lares are a four-piece blackened doom band from Berlin who formed in 2015. They released their critically acclaimed debut EP ‘Mask of Discomfort’ in 2017 and have performed extensively. They will be releasing their sophomore album ‘Towards Nothingness’ on June 26th 2020 through Argonauta Records. Once again, it was recorded by Jan Oberg (Earth Ship/Grin) at the Hidden Planet Studio of their city.
Whilst much of the harmony in this album is pretty simple, there are some occasions where the chord progressions take you by surprise, just at the point where you think you can easily predict what’s going to happen next. They’re cool tricks, but they don’t mean the music has to so simple on the whole for them to work. The music could have the same chords but have more creative lines on top of them, for example. Instead of them, you mostly get mild twists in rhythms to up the interest. Really they need to be taken further if the band aren’t going down the typical heavy metal/epic hook route.
Having said that, ‘Grey Haze’ does have a very cool guitar riff half way through but after that, it’s back to the arguably too excessive minimalism. It will perhaps be the album’s biggest highlight to some, but if you’re more into avant-garde structures and challenges to what it means to be metal, it may be some kind of euphoric release that comes at just the right moment rather than an isolated hidden gem. The repetitions in the songs aren’t there for no reason, they do build tension instead of being mere filler.
In conclusion, Lares make use of a number of moods, from sad to tense to plain old evil, but the music kind of sounds like a backing track to melodies that rarely arrive. The use of effects on the guitars don’t really add too much in the way Korn’s effects do, for example. They sound more like attempts to cover up the flaws. Obviously this is doom metal and you may expect it to plod along and not be exciting, but it is lacking that special something a lot of the time. If you’re looking for a Candlemass type of experience with masses of creativity and dark, catchy tension look elsewhere, but if you don’t mind more stripped down stuff this might be for you.