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venerdì 6 dicembre 2013

Lustre - Wonder

#FOR FANS OF: Black/Ambient
Lustre’s particular brand of atmospheric black metal has always struck me on a deep and personal level. Whether that’s through the fuzzed out reverberating guitars or the emotional and shimmering keyboards, Lustre is able to craft some of the most vivid atmospheres that have graced my ears. 'Wonder' carries on with their signature style, yet despite no alterations to their overall sound Lustre still prove to be masters of their craft when it comes to this particular form of keyboard laden black metal. The most notable aspect of Lustre is the heavy keyboard presence. They dominate the entire mix, pushing the guitars and vocals to the background. It’s a strange mixture, what with black metal being a predominantly guitar based genre of music, yet Lustre work wonders with this mixing. The guitars are suitably fuzzed out, and despite being quiet can be quite easily heard and provide a good background for the shimmering keyboards. The guitars function on a minimalistic, perhaps one could say droning wavelength, indeed there’s no solos, no real riffs, just one note chords stretched out for extended periods of time. The keyboards have always been the main instrument in Lustre’s arsenal, everything else comes second. "A Summer Night" makes great use of the keyboards; a Burzum meets Port-Royal kind of thing with hissed vocals, ambient keyboards and quiet guitars. The overall song structures of the songs are very simple, usually following the same formula of open with a keyboard melody, add some guitars, end with an atmospheric outro. With each songs being of an average of nine minutes with very little to differentiate between themselves, one could be led to believe that this is a boring album. With this kind of music though, one needs to approach it with the right mindset, if you go in thinking this is going to be too repetitive and way too boring then incidentally you’ll be bored out of your mind. This kind of music works best when the listener approaches it in a different way as to the way they’d approach an artist such as Iron Maiden. This isn't music for those looking for lots of riffs and solos; this is repetitive and trance inducing that above all aims to create an ethereal, even mystical atmosphere. Black metal has always been a genre than focuses on atmosphere much more than other metal genres yet Lustre takes this to the next possible extreme. The songs are incredibly minimalistic, containing only a small handful of melodies. The vocals show very little variation between pitch, dynamics and even rhythm, they’re a constant whispering shriek that could easily be missed if enough attention isn't placed upon them. Whilst the music of 'Wonder' is quite easy to listen to and admittedly quite accessible, this is not an album for everyone. The moods this album creates are unique, perhaps even abstract, there’s a strong sense of sorrow within this but the music also seems to deal with themes of hope and perhaps even wonder. Nachtzeit is the kind of abstract, surrealist artist who leaves his work open to interpretation, there’s no right or wrong way to feel about the music of Lustre and this is why this kind of music is so special. It has this undeniably ability to connect with people on a mass scale; due to the ambiguous nature of these songs they have a universal factor to them, as though Nachtzeit was able to channel the collective consciousness of the entire human race when forging this album. Pretentiousness aside, this truly is a great album, the keyboard melodies are stunning to say the least and the repetitive, droning guitars create a nice backdrop to the prominent keyboards. If you weren't swayed by Lustre’s brand of black metal in the past then this will not change your mind, Lustre keeps his style of music constant with the only differentiation present in the mood of the songs. Go into this album with the proper mindset and be sucked into Nachtzeit’s surrealist view of the world. (Sean Render)

(Nordvis Produktion - 2013)
Score: 95