Ad Noctem Records
Review by Tatianny Ruiz
Formed in Italy in 2011, I AM LETHE is an intriguing alternative gothic metal band that started as an experimental project that was set in a solid context that diverges from the usual bands of the genre with symphonic, gothic and epic stereotypes.
Giuseppe (drums and backing vocals) Sara and Mattia (rhythm and led guitars) were part of a project that toured northern Italy for six years, making it easy to contact David (bass) and Ale Haternal and Elis (Vocal) to form a band, and what a band!
This is a band that is willing to deliver much more than the known basics of alternative gothic metal, in fact they bring listeners a fusion of elements and genres mainly taken by their own influences on names like Paradise Lost, Katatonia, Swallow the Sun, Moonspell, Opeth, Mastodon and Alcest, which makes things a little more acidic going forward.
Released by Ad Noctem Records on October 7th this year JOURNEY is an album that as its title describes leads the listener to diversity and we opened with the “bittersweet” track “August” and the alternative metal swings on modern guitars and Elis‘ clean, serene vocals contrasting with Haternal’s howls. The track counteracts the darkness and shoots timeless riffs and melodies that greatly change the fixed view that many listeners have about the genre. By the way, the track still offers a really simple but deliciously executed solo.
We follow the album and a few moments make things very distorted, saying that in a positive way, “Phantasmagore” is a depressing track full of agony but bringing piano passages and an aggressiveness that almost brings us closer to the most extreme sides of metal.
“Cancer” and “Stonified” go the same way without many timeless changes, and “Stonified” guarantees heavier guitars and a striking presence from vocalist Haternal. I also like the apparent melancholy sweetness that Elis inserts but sometimes I feel that this girl is not yet fully comfortable in her environment, some parts she is almost reduced by the rest of the instrumental and this is possibly something that needs to be considered.
Finally we came to “White Moose” and one of the best moments of this album comes alive, with a beautiful symphony as the band’s introduction unfolds in a delicately woven web that captures so many diverse elements between the extreme and some progressive moments that flow into soft guitars on rough surfaces.
“Leaf” is one of the deepest tracks, sounding almost like a sigh of sadness during the album injecting a vastness of sensations to the listener. I really like what I find, although gothic metal isn’t one of my favorite genres. I AM LETHE still presents us with “Redshift” and a change of atmosphere is very well received thanks to Peppe‘s lacerating drum lines. “Blackbird” and “Haternal Walls” wrap up the album and we can conclude that I AM LETHE is on a great track, the mix of influences is a highlight for sure although I still feel some disconnects between one thing or another. Anyway JOURNEY is a fascinating album full of surprises and vigorous moments that has all the elements to captivate the audience.
Rating – 80/100
- White Moose
- Haternal Walls
- Elis – Vocals
- Haternal – Vocals
- Ale – Rhythm Guitars
- Mattia – Lead guitars
- Dave – Bass
- Peppe – Drums