Rating:
8.0
Black Lotus - Harvest Of Seasons
2008


01. Prelude
02. Signatura Rerum
03. Statues In Auburn
04. Of Pathless Woods
05. Terra Hiberna
06. Wreath Of The Triumphant Sun
07. Awaken The Season Of Old
08. The Fallow Earth


Black Lotus are a relatively new black metal band from Canada. A warning before we start: the band members have no corpsepaint! So, you've guessed, it's not true, raw and primitive black metal. It is some epic, symphonic and pagan black metal, with beautiful sonic landscapes (yes, it can be described this way).

The musicians are good, for sure. There are quite a few great riffs out there, and the guitar work is woven with precision with the bass lines and the drumming. And, of course, with the keyboards, intensely used for atmospherics but never taking the lead in the overall sound. Jasper V.D. Veen is in charge of all the vocals, both clean and harsh. The clean, plaintive one are not always in tune and lack some power, but it is far from unbearable. Fact is, it even adds a bit of charm to it. And of course, they are used in contrast with the harsh, classic black metal howls (which are really good).
The folk/pagan side of their music can be heard in the songwriting, and not in the use and abuse of folk instruments. The feeling they evoke might be compared with Wolves In The Throne Room, but where Wolves... are harsh and raw as pure wilderness, Black Lotus are more refined, warm and pastoral. Beware, this does not mean they cannot put out some aggression, because they are efficiently and powerfully aggressive too.

Overall, Harvest of Seasons sometimes sounds a bit repetitive, which is both blessing (as it's mesmerizing) and curse (sometimes the mind wanders off). All songs are good, but Terra Hiberna is certainly the highlight of the album, with its 9 minutes and 24 seconds of pure epicness, and what are certainly the best clean vocals of the album.

As for the production, it is a bit 'blurry' for lack of a better word - those who have listened to Immolation's Harnessing Ruin, for example, should understand what I mean. It's not as bad as it sounds, because one can make out all the instruments while listening. More like if the music was reverberating through a fog bank, in fact...

Harvest Of Seasons was clearly a nice listen; this is an album I took pleasure to discover and immerse myself in. A good pick that all fans of melodic/atmospheric black metal should listen. Period.


 



Written on 11.06.2009 by
Darkside Momo
Used to be your regular Hellfest reporter, now almost retired . I (strangely enough) listen to a lot of metal. And enjoy good beers, comics, novels and role-playing games.
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Fat & Sassy! - 12.06.2009 at 11:07  
Sounds like a nice, atmospheric, black metal album that I should pick up. Good review!
Collin - 12.06.2009 at 15:28  
I didn't think of the Wolves In The Throne Room similarities before but now that you mention it I think you're right. This albums also reminds me a bit of Primordial, mainly for the epic atmospheres. There's also a couple of riffs that recall the mighty Irishmen. Anyway, good review, I agree with the rating
Talvi - 12.06.2009 at 16:10  
As a Magic plaer I approve the band's name.
silenius - 12.06.2009 at 16:32  
Never been into this kind of blackmetal to be honest but you awoke my curiosity so will check it out, great review!
Darkside Momo - 12.06.2009 at 18:41  
Thanks to all for the comments!

@ Collin: yes, forgot to mention Primordial, but I thought about them too
@ Talvi: I don't know, however, if they do play Magic or not
Abattoir - 13.06.2009 at 11:50  
I'll sure check this staff. It seems interesting and tempting for my taste
Doc Godin - 15.06.2009 at 07:46  
Written by Talvi on 12.06.2009 at 16:10

As a Magic plaer I approve the band's name.

lol, glad I'm not the only one who caught that.
Feng - 20.06.2009 at 00:35  
I've known about these guys for quite a while... first heard Terra Hiberna. I recommend it, clean vocals are very good
Daggon - 02.01.2011 at 01:03  
Nice album but kinda repetitive as you said in your review, still worth checking out.
SODOM666 - 31.01.2012 at 07:52  
Wow me and my friends were joking about writing magic themed songs/names. I guess no ideas are original

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