Lutemkrat – The Last Survivor

You can really tell that Lutemkrat is a Brazilian artist as soon as you listen to ‘The Last Survivor’. This band’s style of melodic, slightly folk and viking influenced black metal is reminiscent of many artists from the same nation, although it is a style that will likely be unfamiliar to many metalheads out there. Lutemkrat possesses many of the rolling, viking-inspired rhythms and organic feel of countrymates Zargof, but with an added flair of cold Scandinavian melody that helps set this music apart from others of similar aim. It doesn’t bring a huge amount new to the table, but it is a very solid debut that’s certainly worth listening to, and manages to please throughout.

Your average Lutemkrat song is composed of the same general elements: distant programmed drums providing a simple, uptempo rhythmic backing, distorted, breathy vocals soaked in reverb adding to the frosty atmosphere, and two layers of guitars providing long, epic tremolo riffs. The music floats between medium and fast paces, generally alternating between more brisk blasting and double bass sections before dropping back to deliberate, plodding triplets. The lengthy tracks allow each clearly delineated section of music to be layed out clearly before moving on to the next, creating very linear song structures that lack a great deal of repetition. Aiding this also are the occasional clean guitar breaks peppered throughout the album, which are actually placed and played better than normal. Many bands tend to use such a technique in improper locations, but Lutemkrat manages to incorporate them well into the framework of the music as a whole, with clean transfers from electric to acoustic and back again.

Most of the material here is, at least on some level, familiar. While the specific aesthetic is a bit different than most, in the fusion of warm and cold melody and similarly polarized instrumental feel, the music is not stunningly original. The longer tracks do have a tendency to sort of wander off at times, acting as slideshows of riffs more than unified structures. However, at any given moment during ‘The Last Survivor’, the music you’re listening to is quite good. Lutemkrat has a capable grasp of riffcraft and melodic interaction between the omnipresent dual guitar layers, and the overall sound and production has obviously been given a good deal of care. It’s an easy album to listen to repeatedly, as you do pick out more and more interesting little riffs and vocal patterns the more you hear it. It never gets tiresome, although most of the songs sound generally the same, and it manages to hold your attention pretty well throughout the whole 46 minute running time.

So if you’re into the Brazilian style of melodic black metal, this is most certainly an album to check out. Actually, anyone who enjoys the raw-but-melodic style of BM defined by bands such as Taake would be encouraged to give Lutemkrat at least a look. What it lacks in originality it makes up for in professionalism and craftsmanship, and so for those seeking another quality melodic black metal band in the underground, you can’t go wrong with Lutemkrat.

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~ by noktorn on December 15, 2007.

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