September 5, 2020

Lares - Towards Nothingness

By Ulla Roschat. Towards Nothingness is the sophomore album of the four piece German Berlin based band Lares. The band founded in 2015 and this album follows up their first EP Mask of Discomfort from 2017. Towards Nothingness is 8 songs and about 36 minutes of Blackened Psychedelic Sludge/Doom, and it's also an apocalyptic space trip.

Artwork by Mariusz Lewandowski.

Towards Nothingness is the sophomore album of the four piece German Berlin based band Lares. The band founded in 2015 and this album follows up their first EP Mask of Discomfort from 2017. Towards Nothingness is 8 songs and about 36 minutes of Blackened Psychedelic Sludge/Doom, and it's also an apocalyptic space trip.

The album starts with the track "It Burns" and yes it burns like the rocket that shoots you into space and into unknown realms, fueled by driving, hypnotic rhythms. A distorted, psychic buzz that keeps you trippin, and soaring harsh vocals with blackened ferocity. There are also a few moments on the album that create a sense of contemplative floating, like in the second track "Theiaphobic Ansia", but they never feel like a soothing weightlessness or moments of serenity. With a sound damp and blurred with distortion and electronic effects they rather create an atmosphere of depressive bleakness and disorientation.

And these first two tracks are a perfect introduction to the album. They showcase the album's basic and omnipresent atmospheres.

Yet each song has its own moods and defining elements that make them memorable. There's the urgency of the ferocious vocals in "Cursed With Embodiment", the somber, gloomy doom riffs and huge build up of "SN1987A Space Alteration Machine", the loud-quiet dynamics and glorious propelling drumming in "Grey Haze" that keep spiraling deeper and deeper into the unknown. The dark and brooding ambience of "Oumuamua", the gooey, bluesy riffs and the spacious sound of "Catacomb Eyes", and, eventually, the droney, almost formless waves of noise of "Towards Nothingness", that let you know you've reached your destination.

This variety of nuances weaves a thick, expanding texture into the entire album and adds to its dramatic structure with waves of tension building the all encompassing structure. The highest peak of these waves is no doubt "SN1987A Space Alteration Machine". This is the longest track of the album (9:21) and Lares don't waste one second of it. Here they set space truly ablaze like a supernova with a sweeping, carefully layered build up creating a sublime, intense and monolithic atmosphere.

It's Lares' ability to combine the fierceness of Black Metal, the abrasive filth of Sludge, the entrancing grip of Psychedelia, the gloomy heaviness of Doom and the thrilling dynamics of Post Metal in an exciting way, that makes Towards Nothingness an organic, cohesive unity and an extremely rewarding listening experience. And to make the sense of completeness even "completer", once again, Mariusz Lewandowski perfectly captures the soul of the music with his cover artwork (like so many times before for Abigail Williams, Astral Altar, Bell Witch, Elder Druid, Eremit, Jupiterian... just to name a few). So I am hoping for a vinyl edition of Towards Nothingness, not only, but also, because of this great artwork.

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