Laetitia in Holocaust “The Tortoise Boat” (2009)

In the Musical Spheres and Dimensions we have chosen to brand with the epithet Avantgarde Metal, an objective Consideration of a piece of Music must be equally sized in terms of recognizing the Musical Quality – a thoroughly relative, random and subjective estimation – and recognizing the Originality of the Idea from which the Musical piece is constructed. Quoth one of the genre’s famed and fabled Originators, namely Reed St.Mark, percussionist of CELTIC FROST, “it’s the direction and the development of an idea that counts”. Sometimes it is perhaps necessary to value a Musical piece on the basis of its Idea, its Concept, rather than the actual Subjective Quality of the outcome, the Performance. And nothing is more true than in an objective Consideration of Italians LAETITIA IN HOLOCAUST.

What LIH performs on the interestingly titled The Tortoise Boat is, according to themselves, “rotten light”. They do not seek understanding, they do not seek acceptance in the shape of subcultural capital nor financial gains. Everything is created out of their passion and hell-bent will; if you do not understand it, it is your own loss.

In nearly every aspect, for all intents and purposes, this album consists of Black Metal. Harsh and vitriolic screams and raucous whispers, mysterious and melancholic harmonies in uncontrolled tremolo surges, complex (though programmed) drum segments related to what BLUT AUS NORD did on MoRT, or MAYHEM on Ordo Ad Chao… but! And this is what is important and distinguishing with LIH: there is no distortion. The guitars, in focus as should be, are completely clean. Not even a faint crackle of overdriven signals. Reverb-laden like any self-respecting Post-punk band, but in the shape of LEVIATHANesque explosions of sad and hateful weirdness. At times haunting and hypnotic, elsewhere nearly cartoonish and unbearable to listen to for more than a few minutes. “The abomination, and a praise for Apocalypse” they say, and abomination this is, but is it a flaw of evolution, a genetic mishap spasmodically trying to to adapt to a life that was not meant to be? Or is it a revolution, a sophistically calculated next Darwinian step of Extreme Music? Or plainly a vain attempt at invoking a slight hint of originality where there is only banality and a lack of ideas? I leave that to any potential listener to decide. But anyone interested in musicians taking Extreme Metal some steps further in any given direction should lend this album an ear; I am quite sure that few has ever heard anything similar to this.

Important to note is that there are distinct influences traceable from other extreme genres, specifically the Neofolk movement. The distinct artwork and suggestive song titles hint especially at the subversive attitude of the aforementioned genre, and LIH are without a doubt also interested by their countrymen in the Futurist movement, wrought in Satanic ideas. Laetitia was, for example, a Roman goddess of gaiety, now placed in a Holocaust, and on one of their demos, LIH named a track “Pazuzu in Auschwitz”. And finally, hidden in the confusing flurry of shapeless drum fills and plodding guitars, there are some great musical elements. LIH stretches out their right hand to keep the listener at a comfortable distance, while beckoning with their left hand for you to come into the surreal chambers of their bizarrely disgusting noises. Follow, if you dare. At this writing moment, I will not.



Release:  2009
Label:  N/a
Avantgenre:  Rotten Light
Duration:  39:14
Origin:  Italy
Official site:
Review online since:  18.08.2009 / 18:38:30


1. Hair As The Salt Of Carthago
2. Descent
3. The Gift Of Fury
4. Hissing Through The Veins Of The Gods
5. A Gesture Before You Enter The Darkness
6. Immanence And Illumination

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