Written By: Grymm
Post-metal is a rough genre to navigate. It’s very difficult to make a name for yourself when you’re constantly compared to Neurosis, Isis, or Cult of Luna. The very second when a quiet song starts building steam and crushes the opposition, you are branded a copycat. Hence, France’s Lodz have an uphill battle on their debut album, Something In Us Died. However, if you must stand out in a severely overcrowded field of imitators, do so by being honest and compassionate about your craft, and Something In Us Died has both honesty and passion in spades.
Opening track “Detachment” is a beautiful example of what would happen if Cult of Luna went Katatonic: pummeling drums, shining atonal guitar melodies over a driving rhythm and bass guitar, and guitarist/vocalist Eric seamlessly going from a terrifying polyp-inducing scream to a Discouraged Ones-era Jonas Renkse-like croon and back. “Leading the Rats” further stretches out the Katatonia/Cult of Luna influences with more breathing space, allowing the guitars to shimmer and shine near the end. “Sulfur” brings about a sense of quiet before a very intense percussive fill by Vince brings the proceedings into noisy, nigh-Quicksand territory with a very passionate chorus.
“Walking Like Shades”, although very brief, is the ultimate soundtrack for walking to a bus stop 3 miles from home extremely early on a rainy Wednesday morning. A lone guitar, heartwrenching singing, and a beautiful tremolo melody flesh out the cold feeling of loneliness as you trudge to work in total darkness. The epic closer “Close to the Flames” wraps up with a growing crescendo of drum fills, heavy riffing, and an engaging a cappella of screams and passionate singing.
The very warm production job by Fabrice Boy and mastering by Cult of Luna’s Magnus Lindberg effectively both bulldozes and soothes when the moments call for it. There’s just the right amount of distortion to keep things heavy without blurring the melodies or obscuring the driving bass.
My only knock, as alluded to earlier, is there isn’t particularly anything out of the ordinary that may separate this band from its influences. I will say this, though: it may lack in surprises, but Something In Us Died more than makes up for that with pure conviction and heart. Every song will stick with you in time and repeated listens. And if you give it a chance, you WILL be listening to this album a lot. Open your mind, tune out the world, and absorb this album.