Lautreamont – Silence of the deceased (Молчание мёртвых)
What if I told that there’s a city in Russia that’s almost tropical? With a bay opening into the Black Sea and with quite hot and humid summers? Ever heard of Novorossiysk? I hadn’t either until I checked out Lautreamont. Self-described as Avant-garde death/black metal from the utter depths of Russia, this trio explores the gloomy side of humanity and its relationship with the inevitable end that awaits us all, through dissonance, ambience and brutally aggressive compositions. Their debut album is called “Silence of the Deceased” and it packs 7 songs in a short but rewarding 34 minutes of complex rhythmic changes and relentless riffing, inspired by the work of 19th and 20th century Russian and European poets such as Arthur Rimbaud and Alexander Vvedenskiy. And it’s sung entirely in Russian!
We get off with a strong start with ‘Evil’, with Alex Zarotiadi providing the harsh, raspy vocals that will be present throughout the album, coupled with an interesting and unexpected Eastern vibe and modern groovy riffs during the extended interlude, and even more dissonance from Denis Paschenko, the sole guitarist in the band. Denis’s riffs on his 8-string guitar establish a wall of despair during most of the record as well. The final section from ‘Evil’ is as grandiose as it is gloomy. What a way to start a debut record!
What follows are 4 songs that follow a similar formula of immensely heavy and brutal buzzsaw riffing with groovier, more atmospheric middle sections. ‘Father’ reminds me of Meshuggah but with a rawer production, and it’s an incredibly groovy song which is very uncommon in avant-garde bands. The title track ‘Silence of the Deceased’ showcases Vladimir Fomenko‘s impressive drum skills and maintains a general atmosphere of aggressive despair right to end, which is exactly what the band aims to transmit with the whole album. ‘The Hour’ goes to show that even when the music is strongly based in dissonance, there’s always a way to make it melodic and emotional. Then we have ‘Psalm’, which is so groovy it’s almost danceable, up until when Alex comes back in with extreme harshness in his voice, accompanied by Denis’s buzzsaw riffs and Vladimir’s blast beats. That little break and middle section right after are beautifully done, with so much melody hidden within the glooy atmosphere. This band excels at that.
The best song in the album and the only promotional single comes right at the end with ‘Epitaph’, an absolute crusher with great riffs. It’s the weird song in an interesting way, with all others having a groovy middle section to contrast with the brutality of the main parts, while this one is the opposite. So many grooves and complex rhythm changes. If I were to recommend one song from the band it’d definitely be this one, as it encompasses everything that the band puts out stylistically and conceptually. It’s based on the poem “L’Epitaphe” by Maurice Rollinat, dealing with themes such as madness, anticipation and embracing the end. ‘Coda’ closes the album, providing an atmospheric epilogue that is haunting to the very end.
With “Silence of the Deceased” Lautreamont establishes a musical identity and a stylistic fingerprint that I hope they follow and further develop for their next album. Emotional, raw and intense music is always welcome, especially when it is this good.
- Evil (Зло)
- Father (Отец)
- Silence of the deceased (Молчание мёртвых)
- The hour (Час)
- Psalm (Псалом)
- Epitaph (Эпитафия)
- Coda (Кода)