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I Am Lethe – Journey Award winner

I Am Lethe
by Caio Botrel at 31 October 2019, 10:51 PM

I AM LETHE is an Alternative Gothic Metal band that was formed in 2011 in Italy. The musicians have been working on since then on their own music and have played in famous festivals alongside huge names from the style such as LACUNA COIL and EXILE.  The band have recently released their newest album titled "Journey" and that's what we are going to talk about.

The opening song from the album is "August" and it starts out with a cool and dark guitar riff that will make you bang your head. Then a female vocal comes in showing a more melodic part, but suddenly some guttural vocals joins the clean vocals for the chorus and individual parts as well. I loved how they manage to contrast the sweetness of the clean female vocals with the aggressiveness of the guttural voices. Its definitely a great song and I enjoyed the instrumental parts as well. "Phantasmagore" and it starts with a clean guitar sound that is suddenly transformed into a great distortion riffin' that reminded me of ALCEST and bands from this kind of style. The duet between the clean and harsh vocals starts and then the song becomes calm, only with the drums and clean guitars that sounded like a piano. I love how they added up some aggressive riffs and parts to it while the guttural vocals gave it the power it should have, but with the female vocals always on the sight. There's a great guitar solo here as well, it's simple, but it gave the song a whole new dynamic.

"Cancer" is the next song and it's more direct than the previous ones, as it starts fast and there's no instrumental parts growing. After the first part, there's a calmer part where there's some voice narration and they have created a different kind of ambiance here… I like how it sound. The vocal lines from the chorus are great and the duet between both vocals are just great. I must say that the instrumental parts are really good as well and the drums helped creating a kind of desperate mood sometimes. "Stonified" and it starts out with a cool dancing guitar riff that is soon followed by the guttural vocals. I think that this is a great song to play live, it has a cool dynamic. The guitars here seem to be a little bit more elaborated and it sounds really good.

There's a "White Moose" over there… it starts with a beautiful piano that is followed by great guitars and orchestrations. The female vocals come in showing its power as the guitar riffs, bass n' drums creates the ambiance. It was cool that the guttural vocals were added on the calmer part that comes right after the aggressive riffs, it gave the song a good dynamic. The chorus has this great duet between the vocals and I just loved it. It's probably one of my favorite songs on the album. The highlights also go to the drum work on this one. There's a "Leaf" falling into the ground. It starts with a very cool keyboard sound that reminded me a little bit of space and things like that. The guitars are heavy on this one and the riffs are really cool. The vocal lines from the stanza are most duets and the bridge riff is great. After the aggressiveness comes the sweetness and the song goes calmer. There's a very cool drums that are soon followed by the piano parts and it helped creating a different ambiance for the song.

"Redshift" starts out with cool keyboards and some vocal work on the background, but soon its followed by some cool guitar riffs that reminded me a little bit of Progressive Metal. It's different from the previous songs and it sounds more aggressive and the instrumental parts seems to be more complex. I think it's a good song to play live as it has a good dynamic and a lot of different riffs, bass n' drums. "Blackbird" and it starts out with a cool clean guitar riffs and female vocals that grows slowly in a way. The mixing here sounds like if it was a radio mix and that was cool, because it turns back to the original mixing when the song is already grown. I like how they were able to create different dynamics inside one song and it's dark and sad.

The song that closes the album is "Haternal Walls" and it starts out with cool keyboard atmosphere and the female vocals that are followed by the male ones that are low in the background. It has some cool and pure kind of Death Metal guitar riffs and heavy bass n' drums when the harsh vocals are spreading its power. I thought it would end in a calmer way with the female vocals, but they just hit the guitars in your face once again.

I AM LETHE have written and recorded a great album with a lot of different dynamics on each song, even though most of them are long, it doesn't sound boring at all. I loved how they mixed up the female clean vocals with the guttural vocals, it gave the songs a different ambiance. The execution of each instrument was really good and I think the drummer has done quite of a good job. The mixing and mastering was really well done as well and I think this band released one of the best album that came out from Italy this year.

Songwriting: 10
Originality: 9
Memorability: 10
Production: 9

4 Star Rating

1. August
2. Phantasmagore
3. Cancer
4. Stonified
5. White Moose
6. Leaf
7. Redshift
8. Blackbird
9. Haternal Walls
Elis - Vocals
Haternal – Vocals
Ale – Rhythm Guitar
Mattia – Lead Guitar
Dave – Bass
Peppe – Drums
Record Label: Ad Noctem Records


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