With heart at the forefront, the multifaceted frontman presents a glistening new era.
Words by Luis (@luis.hoa):
What began as an existence characterized as post-black metal has incrementally transitioned into a more expansive one that harnesses from all ends of the musical spectrum, particularly shoegaze, djent, and prog to name a few. It's a strong indication that Lantlôs are never one to settle in their exploration of a genuine sound that not only pleases frontman Markus Siegenhort's ambitious endeavors but pushes the boundaries of the genre's conventionalities even further. The band's trajectory is nothing short of exemplary and any robust listen through the band's discography is enough to convince curious listeners of Siegenhort's superlative capabilities, capabilities that hit a high mark with Melting Sun (2014). It's been 7 years since then and it remained a question as to how Siegenhort would mark his return. With his fifth full-length, Wildhund, just a matter of days away, Siegenhort embarks upon a new excursion that explores the more wondrous sensibilities of the Lantlôs sound palette.
Arriving on July 30th via the always consistent Prophecy Productions, Wildhund comes accompanied by set of lively promo photographs that encapsulate the record's lively nature. If anything, the below shot of Siegenhort eating a pentagram macaron with sport shades is exactly what you're getting from Lantlôs this time around.
Wildhund is refreshing in every sense of the word with every track presenting an array of compositional variety to immerse yourself in. Opener Lake Fantasy introduces the record's lush approach to melody with blissful keyboards and a moving drum performance by Felix Wylezik. It's rhythms carry more weight with an accompanying guitar tone that is both heavy and invigorating, all the while Siegenhort showcases his vocal range. Lake Fantasy establishes a beautiful blend of two distinct extremes coalescing into one, the likes of which is present once more on the second track, Magnolia. Magnolia proves to be one of the catchier tracks on Wildhund, primarily due to the pop laden structure and choruses. Wylezik shines with a brilliant display of polyrhythms that keep listeners at bay, listening with intrigue as the riffs batter you in.
The album's energetic tone takes a step back on the alt-rock leaning Cocoon Tree House, one of the record's more serene offerings. For as rich as post-metal has proven to be. Lantlôs take it even further with Cocoon Tree House, which sports crisp production and joyous instrumentation akin to that of Hum. It's uncharted territory for Lantlôs but the duo have mastered it with ease, making it accessible for audiences across the board with alluring melodies and an infectious chorus to boast. Home continues this same pattern and lets rumbling bass lines dictate the power while Vertigo unleashes one of the record's strongest moments at the midpoint. Siegenhort shouts a skyrocketing "Vertigo!" and the melody rides along it, propelling the energy to new and endearing heights. It's truly a hair raising moment that will translate well to a live setting. The Bubble, which sports guest vocals by German producer and sound engineer Jan Kerscher, is comprised of graceful melodies that leave one breathless as Siegenhort sings on, "Elevate me/ Make me feel again." Amber takes it one step further and erupts with a brief screaming segment that is met by another pummeling Wylezik drum showing. If there's a track to recommend from the record full of gems that is Wildhund, let it be Amber for it radiates grace with ferocity awaiting just underneath. It's the best of both worlds and Lantlôs once again shows why it deserves a highly regarded acclaim.
After track after track of Siegenhort's vocal excellence, Cloud Inhaler conveys emotion on purely instrumentals. It's a soothing 2 minute effort of ambient bliss that is followed by an equally gentle Planetarium, a trance-inducing being. As the multifaceted frontman details, the album title is defined as being German for a dog born or living in the wilderness. In this same vein, Wildhund takes new routes and the progressive take on the alternative post-metal fusion of the record shows for it. The cheerfulness of closer Lich is the ideal way to put a cap on the stimulating marvel that is Lantlôs' latest creation, one that clearly stands tall among its counterparts. An eery synth fades into the distance and our experience is complete.
Not one Lantlôs record sounds like the other, and rightfully so, with Wildhund positioning itself as the furthest in departure with a compositional palette brimming with creativity of a diverse kind. You never know what you're going to get with Lantlôs and Wildhund is arguably not what one would have expected, but it's welcome and honestly, quite needed. This is Siegenhort at his happiest and every profound lyric speaks for it as the German mastermind explores what he describes as a "hardcore softness". Whatever happened in the 7 year gap since Melting Sun gave birth to a powerhouse that is sure to find a place among this year's standout compositions. A new era of Lantlôs is here and the world stands to benefit. Happiness never sounded so heavy.
Wildhund arrives this Friday, July 30th via Prophecy Productions. Order your copy HERE.