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Lesoir - Latitiude

by Dave "That Metal Guy" Campbell at 18 November 2017, 8:31 AM

“Latitude” is the fourth studio album for Dutch quintet LESOIR. Beyond this I wasn’t able to garner much about the band on the internet, except that the new album here focuses more on Progressive melodies than blunt rage. With thirteen tracks over varying length, let’s get to the album to discover some of the highlights for ourselves. “Modern Goddess” opens with a soft piano melody, and clean female vocals that are soon harmonized. It’s hard enough to be in the “Hard Rock” umbrella but not what you would think of as “Metal.” “In the Game” establishes a dreamy and mysterious sound from the start, with a side helping of darkness as well. The melodies are fine and delicate; just enough to let it rise out of that haze. Some Progressive elements peek through mostly in the form of varied rhythms when the drums increase their presence.

“Icon” is a bit shorter than the first two tracks. Some of the vocals however don’t have an obvious connection with the melody like that the instruments establish. It’s odd, perhaps by construct? “Gone and Forgotten” is almost Post-Rock in scope, with those fragile and gentle acoustic guitar notes that hang in the air. When the vocals some in, it moves with a little more haste. The harmonies here are definitely on the mark, as it builds to a pleasing crescendo at the end. “Eden’s Garden” is a little heavier, with an air of suspense, akin to succumbing to the temptations of the biblical location, if you believe in that sort of thing. The heavy passage at the end really puts a nice stamp on the sound. “Kissed by Sunlight” is another murky track that uses a somber riff and ambient moments that make form a doomy listening experience. A lot of competing elements come together nicely here.

“Cheap Trade” is a short three minutes in length. Bass guitar notes lead an energetic charge of both weighted aggressiveness and subtlety. I wanted this track to last longer however, as it really resonated with me. The title track, “Latitude,” is a heavy instrumental that uses several stringed instruments and keys working together like a well-oiled machine. It’s an ominous track that revels of things that lurk in the shadows. “Faith Is” is one of those tracks that builds in layers throughout; tenuous at first and as more instruments come into play the song becomes very expansive. The full on assault at the end is great. “Cradle Song” is a pretty two-minute closer.

Overall I enjoyed most of the album, but felt that there were some moments lost along the way that could have built a more voluminous sound. At times it seems to meander somewhat and some tracks didn’t really get off the ground as much as they could have. It also seems to suffer from a dual identity…I enjoy contrast in music but they weren’t connected in a way that allowed you to enjoy both at the same time. The more mellow aspects of the album were pleasing, as well as the heavier moments, but they just weren’t linked well enough for me.

Songwriting: 7
Originality: 6
Memorability: 5
Production: 7

3 Star Rating

1. Modern Goddess
2. In the Game
3. Icon
4. In their Eyes
5. Gone and Forgotten
6. Eden’s Garden
7. Zeros and Ones
8. Kissed by Sunlight
9. Cheap Trade
10. Comforting Rain
11. Latitude
12. Faith Is
13. Cradle Song
Maartje Meessen – Vocals, Flute, Piano
Ingo Dassen – Guitar
Eleen Bartholomeus – Vocals, Guitar, Keyboards, Percussion
Ingo Jetten – Bass
Bob van Heumen – Drums
Record Label: Gentle Art of Music


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