Lantlôs - Agape review
|Release date:||October 2011|
03. Bloody Lips And Paper Skin
04. You Feel Like Memories
05. Eribo - I Collect The Stars
Disc II [limited boxset edition bonus]
01. White Miasma
02. Where Have You Gone My Friend [Asylum Party cover]
Disc III [limited boxset/jewel case edition bonus]
Instrumental demo tracks:
03. You Feel Like Memories
04. Eribo - I Collect The Stars
05. White Miasma
Neige strikes again. Yes, the bloke from Alcest who apparently believes it's his sworn duty to make sure as many bands possible are working together towards achieving his vision (a perfect shoegaze/post-rock black metal album perchance?), is here too, but only handling the vocal duties and not contributing to the songwriting itself. If you expected Écailles De Lune number 2, you might be slightly disappointed.
Compared to all the ten billion releases hailing from this particular sub-genre, Agape bears a slower, heavier and darker vibe, yet still maintains the ecstatic, dreamy feeling. This is noticeable from the very start, as soon as the noisy intro develops into a doomy dirge which continues chugging until the "acoustic" breakdowns take over and help emphasize the next monolithic climax. Sometimes pounding at full speed, like on "Bliss", sometimes remaining at a turtle's pace like on "Eribo - I Collect Stars", the music paints one picture, regardless of the method used. As you might know, "agape" is an old Greek word that translates to "love", but not of the "putting the penis in the vagina" variety. It's the spiritual kind, or what we might nowadays refer to as "Christian". And indeed, while listening to Agape, it is easy to feel that warm, fuzzy sensation, but with more than a dash of melancholy and tragedy. Loss of your closest friend? Or simply longing for someone who might feel "agape" for you and whom you might feel it for? Like in all art, the interpretation is purely up to you.
Sounds wonderful, doesn't it? Oh, if only it were. Clocking at about 35 minutes, Agape is too short for its own good, especially considering the fact perhaps somewhat less than 1/3 of it are the breakdowns that tend to feel too drawn out and sometimes monotonous. So much in fact, that the climaxes don't feel like they're worth your patience. It's like a joke that takes too long to tell. Even if the punchline is brilliant, the audience is bored and frustrated by the overblown set-up. The only track where this is executed properly is the finisher, and even that one lacks some variation. Put simply, these 35 minutes feel like half that much worth of ideas played twice as slow.
Still, Agape is a solid release. What it lacks in songwriting it makes up for with pure emotion, and it's hard to slander such a release for its technical flaws.
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