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Thursday, February 9, 2017

Lethe - The First Corpse on the Moon

It’s been a good while since I’ve done a review on the My Kingdom Music label. So it’s a good idea to see what I’ve been missing. One of them is an avant-duo called, Lethe. They have formed five years ago and they have unleashed their second album, The First Corpse on the Moon. According to Tor-Helge Skei, it is a snapshot in time. It’s this cross between electronic, avant-garde, metal, experimental, and pop featuring six session musicians to be backed up. There isn’t any rules, expectations, or compromises, but here, it is a very interesting album I’ve listened to.

I’ve mentioned the genres in there, but also there’s a touch of a metallic-electronica yet trip-hop adventure that Tor-Helge and Anna Murphy delve into the waters between each other. I have to admit, I’m not crazy about the music, but the duo themselves are intriguing and create the darkness and eerie scenarios they have shown that space has no place to go and nowhere to go home.

Around the five highlights on here, it’s quite obvious that Lethe are taking the listeners beyond the stratosphere of loneliness, insanity, somber, and far-out journeys that you’ve never heard before. Inexorbitant Future starts with these eerie whispers along with ambient sounds, minor piano chords, and Tor’s vocals gives you a chance that his character in the song is scared and knowing that his time has come.

With its trip-hop electronic drum kit sample, Anna comes through the support level to help through Tor’s lyrics. My Doom is where New Wave, Thrash Metal, and Post-Rock are combined into one. With ‘80s keyboards, distorted guitars/heavy riffs, it is a Thrash-Electronic/Goth Rock style that I’ve never expected! It’s almost as if the Crack the Skye-era of Mastodon were cooking BBQ with the Sorcerer-era of Tangerine Dream, Devo, and the early sounds of The Cure.

Teaching Birds How to Fly has this interesting introduction with Morse Code signals from the machine like ARS synths that the bass, guitar, chords, and rapid rhythmic beats with pummeling drums ascends the trip to the trees of hope. The alternative/gothic beauty of Wind To Five feels like an orchestral ride into the night with a trippy midsection groove.

It almost reminded me of the final fourth movement of Fire! Orchestra’s Enter. It is innovative at times combining these ingredients of Metal, Electronic, and Jazz vocalizations by Anna and Tor. And then we go into the closer of Exorcism. We are almost inside of a mental patient’s mind as Anna’s chilling vocals sends a chill down to the spine of goosebumps that is waiting to happen.

There’s some eerie atmospheres on the sax and horn sections as the ending goes through this electronic haywire effect as the piano sets the dooming finale. This is an album that may not be your cup of coffee, but the duo musicians have shown a lot of ideas and lot of conceptual moments of being lost in space and never coming back.

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