On March 17th, Dark Descent Records will release the second album of the Finnish death metal band Lantern, which bears the name II: Morphosis. The album can be understood as a reflection on the processes of dying and death and what may lie beyond the extinction of mortal life, an attempt to divine and manifest the chilling chaos of unseen terrors, a channeling of visions from eldritch spheres, an exhibition of dark perceptions and even darker imaginings about the transformation of life through death into something inherently mysterious.
The striking cover art Zbigniew M. Bielak is itself a collage of the album’s song titles and lyrical themes, with its centerpiece an image of a human cocoon parting, and a form leaving the clutch of rot and decay and rising up toward a domelike spire. And in that image, the cover makes a connection with the album’s epic final track, “Lucid Endlessness“, which happens to be this writer’s favorite track on the album — and the one we have the pleasure of premiering today.
As described (here) by the band’s co-founder and principal creative force Cruciatus: “‘Lucid Endlessness’ is the album’s Bardo Thodol inspired epilogue… located in the very apex of the cycle, where it is either supposed to break or become launched again. The setting of this song is the verge of some parallel dimension, with but grey, white and black all around.”
In that same lengthy interview, Cruciatus shared an excerpt from the song’s lyrics, which is worth sharing again here:
Dark matter from timeless streams
This flux of souls redeemed
Through black holes woven
In between the wake and the dream
Amorphous in silver seas
Coalescent in surreal
Like mercury, my essence slowly dispersing
Here I gaze upon the deep, enormous outer reach
Whence projected lay demons born within
Here I face my suffering
My fears, my mortal grief
My prospects, hopes and dreams
All drowned as callously
In our review of the album as a whole, our writer praised it as a unique work that makes use of “old school” elements and traditions but integrates and transforms them in fascinating, progressive ways. “Lucid Endlessness” is perhaps the finest example of that achievement.
The song is intricate and evolving, full of contrasts and change, both atmospheric and electrifying. It is indeed strange and surreal, but also a viscerally powerful piece of death metal pandemonium.
The guitars drive the song from the beginning, but the drumming is magnetic, too. There’s heat and ferocity in the song’s first section, with seething, swarming riffs and bursts of dissonant melody anchored by a pummeling pounding sound in the midst of a rumbling gallop. But with a little bass solo as a bridge, the music changes, becoming a mid-paced lurch — with the guitar soaring in a grim but grand fanfare, generating a sensation of glorious horror as the the vocalist expresses the lyrics with gritty, braying vehemence. And as the track ends in the crash of melancholy chords and a simmering, shimmering ambience, it very effectively manifests a transition from the terrors of death to the answering of life’s mysteries… without yet disclosing the answer.
But that’s just my interpretation. It may send your imagination off in a different direction. But it most definitely is a song that inspires the imagination even as it gets your blood rushing, a mood-changing and very engrossing track well worth exploring repeatedly.
II: Morphosis will be released by Dark Descent on March 17. To pre-order it, go here:
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