Finnish black/death inquisitors Lantern released a two-track EP on October 10th, and its quite the sonic endeavour. While properly defined by the aforementioned subgenre amalgamation, the duo incorporates folk and melodic elements into their flavour of metal. Let’s dig into this one, shall we?
Lost Paragraphs is merely a single song release for those familiar with the group’s sound. However, the second song, titled “Invocation of the Fathomless,” debuted off of Rehearsal ’14, one of Lantern’s older demos, although I believe the song has been rerecorded/altered for this release.
Lantern seem to be one of those freaks of composition that us music fans come across every once in a funeral moon. While calling them unparalleled would be a stretch of the imagination, the group does manage to diversify themselves through the injection of many different musical influences. Solidifying themselves within a blackened death metal coffin, they successfully tinge an already-impressive output with folk and a healthy portion of melody.
I’m leaning towards calling this release an EP because both songs clock in at over six minutes in length, but I believe that referring to such as a two-sided single is more appropriate, due to the preconceived nature of “Invocation of the Fathomless,” which fans have seen before. Let’s go with non-album single.
“Lost Paragraphs” is a competent and well-arranged track. The lengthier nature of the song allows for an ample amount of progression within its duration, which proves advantageous within Lantern’s realm of distortion.
Two things strike me with this one: the band’s ability to incorporate vocals within the instrumentation, as well as a proper usage of the song’s timeframe.
One of the glaring issues within the metal world lies behind a singer’s ability to aimlessly bark over a choreographed instrumentation due to the limitations (or expansiveness, rather) of the genre. You see, within the world of pop and soft rock, bands are somewhat forced to successfully mirror their instruments’ output with the singer’s, if they desire to create a longstanding and successful song. However, since metal can easily be deduced to an orgy of screaming chaos, people can get away with a lack of musical coordination within the sake of making their output as primitive as possible.
However, since Lantern seems to incorporate some more advanced influences, they can’t get away with the aforementioned commonality. In addition to Lantern’s vocal inclusions successfully working within the band’s wide spectrum of tempos, the song’s more intricate instrumentation is often consciously paired with a relative change in the vocal deliveries. This attention to detail really sets apart great songs from good ones, both in general quality and longevity.
My second topic of discussion revolves around the phenomenal usage of song structure. The band clearly has no issue with making a song’s progression interesting. From the ripping opening segment, to the slower portions of the song, everything just feels so well put-together. I particularly enjoy the near-culminating guitar solo, which funnels nicely into the song’s closing section.
The nature of this release falls in tune with an important (albeit not-so-popular) music marketing technique whereby artists bolster their discography via small-scale releases. Metal bands used to release full-lengths within a three to four year cycle, which were accompanied by a large-scale tour. While this traditional cycle worked for quite a while, something changed within the music industry in between circa 1990 and the modern day. Due to the invention of social media, streaming platforms like Spotify and Apple Music, and the negative influx of money into the world of music, band members are now forced to be in your face a whole lot more than they used to be.
There are three main ways of combatting this phenomenon. Firstly, musicians can, you know, get a real job like everyone else and contribute to society, inevitably forcing their bedroom project to afternoons and weekends. Secondly, which is the most prevalent route, band members often take part within a number of different bands, which keeps them active while being able to stick to that traditional three year release cycle, ultimately coming out with an album with each respective band every year interchangeably. Finally, which is the route that our friends in Lantern seem to be taking, groups can infuse their release cycle with smaller outputs, such as EPs and non-album singles, which keep listeners entertained and ensure a continuously growing fanbase. Most notably, Germany’s Sodom has been taking this approach as of late, with a full-length, compilation, split, and EP all being released incrementally since 2016. Even if these smaller outputs are seen as mediocre, or perhaps slip under fans’ radar due to their less significant nature, this technique ensures that a band’s brand is constantly growing.
The above is proven true, as I did not know of Lantern prior to this release and such put me within their fanbase. While I wouldn’t necessarily listen to this track again due to its heterogenous nature, it interested me in their current list of full-lengths. Success!
Lost Paragraphs seems to be a decent release. The main single is competent and entertaining, and brought me about the Lantern club. I personally don’t really listen to singles all that much, and I also feel that the band’s vibe would work better within a full-length setting, but more music isn’t a bad thing.