Lethvm are a post-metal band from Belgium, and this is their third album.
Recommended in the promo blurb as being for fans of Neurosis, early Cult of Luna, and LLNN, this is a good indicator of what you’ll find on Winterreise. I’d also say if you take LLNN, expand their apocalyptic sound with Cult of Luna’s textured influence, then add a further aspect that recalls the hypnotic nature of a band like Sunnata, then you’ll be definitely be on the right lines.
A beguiling mix of post-metal, post-hardcore, doom, and sludge, Winterreise delivers a menacing collection of tracks across 36 minutes. It has a potent personality of its own, despite its obvious influences. Lethvm have crafted a record that stands on its merits. It’s a well-detailed album that has an imposing presence, but one that’s softened somewhat by its emotive side.
Winterreise is heavy on distortion, but also heavy on atmosphere and emotive content. The massive guitars are like near-physical tsunamis of emotion, cascading against the listener without regard for their safety or wellbeing. Crushing is the word, but importantly they exist not purely to flatten, but as the conveyors of feeling and shaped intent. Lethvm are supremely heavy and have a devastating sound because of this, but they also know how to use subtlety and nuance within this colossal framework of thick, punishing guitars.
Rage and melancholy infest this album, and the band do well to balance the two, giving each its moment in the light. The sheer heaviness of the album is offset by moments of texture, introspection, or hymnal-like sophistication that all imbue the music with rich layers. Lighter sections and clean singing all contribute to the feeling of a well-rounded and worthwhile album. These lighter parts frequently only exist to make the heavier moments more world-endingly heavy, and this approach is very effective. Of course, they have value in their own right too.
Winterreise is a compelling and enjoyable slab of cathartic metal. If you’re a fan of the bands mentioned above, as well as acts such as Amenra, Erlen Meyer, Moloken, Herod, and Rosetta, then Lethvm are for you.
Very highly recommended.