This three-headed Italian monstrosity, with the peculiar name and even more peculiar sound, was presented here about two years ago with the debut album The Tortoise Boat. Without repeating myself too much, the basic musical premise of LIH remains the same now as then: amorphous, discordant, mid-paced Black Metal, bereft of the distorted guitars. It is still weird as bloody hell, the unsettling flutter of clean, reverberating BM-styled guitars and spasmodic drum machines. Most of the riffs are hurling around in this formlessness, often seemingly void of both tonal centres and rigid song structures – however, that impression is probably mainly a reaction to the aesthetic sea-sickness of the over-all crisp production and the disappointingly synthetic percussion.
Like a malformed cousin of BLUT AUS NORD’s most “out there” compositions, rarely allowed to leave the basement, it is easy to get distracted by the overall weirdness of LIH. Not the least when many of the atonal ambitions more often than not sound like the guitarist is just spawning ideas in a rather clumsy fashion: some chords and progressions just sound wrong, in a bad way, and after a while it gets a bit boring, despite that the obvious level of ambition of this singularity definitely commands some respect.
However, behind this veneer of style and sound, there are moments when something astonishing gleams through. As soon as the music slows down, letting go of being metal and shifting the focus towards exploring atmospheres and landscapes, LIH’s strengths become apparent. The nocturnal desolation of late 90’s era BETHLEHEM, the desert soundscapes of Ennio Morricone and chorus-drenched dusty gothic rock of FIELDS OF THE NEPHILIM serve as references when LIH set out into the dark nights of their musical spirit. I hope the paths laid out in for example “Sulla Soglia Dell’Eterna” and “The Inaccesible Door” will be further developed in the future, at least to guarantee my continued interest. Because as interesting nd weird the wobbly sound may be, there is a limit to this listener’s tolerance for it – approximately 2-3 songs.
PS: I won’t comment on the texts, as they are – though sung in English most of the time – only printed in Italian; the titles and artwork is suggestive enough to spark some interest though.
Avantgenre: Rotten Light
Official site: http://www.myspace.com/laetitiainholocaust
Review online since: 08.12.2011 / 10:34:5
1. Dialogue With The Sun (white Lions Rising)
2. Black Ashen Aurora
3. Le Perdu De Novembre
4. Ascension To Cursed Waters
5. Sulla Soglia Dell’eternita
6. Sons Of Ice
7. The Inaccessible Door