I really didn’t know anything about LANTERN before their new album II: Morphosis (out now, Dark Descent Records) made its way to me. But what I know now is that they have released what is probably THE most unique-sounding Death Metal record of 2017. There are no cliches here, and the songs all fit together while also standing on their own. Nothing runs together in a forgettable mish-mosh; there is definite fire and brimstone in all of the tracks. Vocalist Necrophilos also stands out from the pack because his bark and delivery are different than what a lot of Death Metal singers are doing, so he’s keeping things interesting.
As far as the tunes go “Sleeper of Hypnagog” and opener “Black Miasma” serve as the perfect one-two for getting to know the band. The guitars of Cruciatus and St. Belial are crisp and sharp, and they slice with surgical precision. The rhythm section of J. Noisehunter (bass) and J. Poussu (drums) is solid as a rock and together they wield considerable weight on these tracks. “Cleansing of the Air” is heavy as hell and one of the album’s best songs. Instrumental “Necrotic Epiphanies” comes in and breaks up the album nicely. The guys in this band can fucking play, make no mistake about it.
“Transmigration” employs the use of some tribal drumming that goes really well with the swirling riffs buzzing about your head, and then all of a sudden things completely shift gears for “Virgin Damnation.” This song is what I imagine the soundtrack to a ritualistic sacrifice would be, and that’s fine. I’m all for those, believe me. Then closing track “Lucid Endlessness” comes in and blows everything to Hell and gone, leaving everyone running for cover.
Overall though, this first experience with LANTERN will NOT be my last. I think this is a very good band that is sitting on a well of untapped potential, and it will be interesting to see where they go from here. I will be watching and waiting to see what transpires. But I can honestly say that II: Morphosis is one of those records that every fan of Death Metal should give a listen to, because even though they’re unconventional they make music that fucking kills. And it would probably do some of you some good to get out of your comfort zones and listen to something different.
STANDOUT TRACKS: “Cleansing of the Air”, “Sleeper of Hypnagog”, “Lucid Endlessness”, “Virgin Damnation”