Lantern: Below

Hellish extremity from Cthulhu’s slavering maw

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Resisting the modern sheen that robs so much modern death metal of its character, Lantern do things the ugly, old-school way. Drenched in grotesque reverb and as hostile and threatening as the dripping jaws of a rabid wolf, Below belongs to a darker and more twisted musical universe where Lovecraftian beasts lurk in the shadows and Satan walks among us in the mortal realm.

In musical terms, these songs are death by design but blackened in intent, as the muscular properties of early Slayer and Possessed are filtered through the dissonant squall of the necro-compliant artistic underworld, revealing an aesthetic preference that will delight elitists while alienating those unable to grasp why genuine unholy metal needs to sound as if it has been literally belched from the depths of Hell.

The recurring riff underpinning album centrepiece Entrenching Presences tells the whole story on its own – this is purposefully evil music, composed with the conjuring of ancient demons in mind and driven by seething contempt for the stylistic and spiritual needs of a wider world.

Dom Lawson

Dom Lawson has been writing for Metal Hammer and Prog for over 14 years and is extremely fond of heavy metal, progressive rock, coffee and snooker. He also contributes to The Guardian, Classic Rock, Bravewords and Blabbermouth and has previously written for Kerrang! magazine in the mid-2000s.