July 14, 2023

Left Hand Solution - Light Shines Black (2001) ☠

Country: Sweden
Language: English
Genre: Gothic Metal
Label Number: MASS CD-84
☠: Selected by Lass
© 2001 Massproduktion
A band that seems to be struggling to release anything more than two full-length albums in a ten-year period, LHS really deserve more credit than they seem to get. Having released Fever back in 1996 it took another five years before they were able to get their second full-length album out and present to the world, what is ostensibly, a musical bowl of gruel – various tracks swimming around in the same mush and if you stir them all together they disappear. Listening to this music for too long can be hazardous to your health. It’s like being hit over the head with a brick.

LHS produce a very dark and somber style of metal, even their faster tracks seem to mope along with a certain depression. Light Shines Black is a very apt title for this album. It’s all dark, even the ‘lighter’ parts. The thing that really sets the tone, above all else, is the voice of Marianna, which is very sexy and very dark. It really makes the music and completes the tone for all the songs. A lot of the time it’s common to hear a band and be aware that the vocals overpower the instruments and are not wholly suited to the songs. However, Marianna’s voice is an instrument that sounds perfectly harmonious with the others. She fits in perfectly.

This is an album that really takes a few listens to get into, or more accurately, to be able to see the distinctions between the songs. Eventually you’ll be able to pick out what’s different about them, but it may take a little time. On first listening though, it’s hard to ignore what a great song Light Shines Black itself is, and as time goes on, others should become more apparent, like Lucid Dream Desire and Void, whose guitar chomps at your ears slowly but commandingly, taking a brief respite for the chorus. However, this is where we come across another hurdle, since though LHS seem to be brilliant at writing verses, they sometimes seem not to know where to go from there, Persistance Of Memory and Orient Nights [thank God they resisted the temptation to make this one ‘oriental sounding’ to go with the title] being perfect examples of songs with quite boring choruses.

What LHS ideally need to do is to write tracks which are unique. LSB is a good album, but it plods along in the same vein and it’s hard to be enthralled by it. All of the songs are deliciously heavy and will certainly please those metal fans who are into the darker rather than blacker stuff, but it seems that in all the time they’ve had to write music, LHS can’t make their songs sound separate from one another. Other bands like Moon Of Steel and Amaran never deviate from using the same instruments in every song and still manage to make each number sound special. This is a skill which LHS are yet to acquire, if they can at all, unless their intention is to forever wallow in the stagnancy of their own gloom.

 tags: left hand solution, light shines black, 2001, flac,


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