Lustre // They Awoke to the Scent of Spring
Rating: 4.0/5.0 — Worth losing Angry Metal Points™ over.
Label: De Tenebrarum Principio
Websites: facebook.com/lustresweden
Release Dates: EU: 09.03.2012 | NA: 07.30.2012 [Digitally]

Lustre - They Awoke to the Sound of SpringIf you’re like me, extreme metal gets tiring every once in a while. There’s only so many blast beats and guttural screams one can take before it starts becoming a little monotonous. “Weakling!” I hear you cry [Actually I was going to call you a “pussy”. Also, I just docked you 25 Angry Metal Points™. AMG], but I prefer the concept of moderation so as to not sink into stagnation. No, I’m not running off to spin the latest Lady Gaga track or indulging in smatterings of Peruvian pan flute bands, but rather I seek the quiet solace of bands that maybe aren’t all about heaviness, brutality or punishing riffage. That is where bands like Lustre come in, tapping into the raw power that dwells within nature and the world around us. And now with the release of They Awoke to the Scent of Spring, I have yet another album to take me away from the constant barrage of heaviness that is a vast majority of modern metal.

Doom-infused black metal often evokes ancient cathedral walls, coated in the blasphemous muck of black metal with snail’s pace riffs coming down like the wrath of Satan himself, but Lustre goes the other way with the pace being dictated by a introspective melancholy. If you are familiar with main-man Nachzeit’s prior work, then They Awoke is very clearly a logical progression from previous albums. Guitar lines wander the forests and plains of a familiar world, monotonous synth lines creep out of crevasses to peek at daylight and the unintelligible vocals (used more as an instrument than a messenger) soar above the landscape in a mix of triumph and pain that makes sense the second you hear them. The lack of distinct song structure and the slow, lumbering pace of the music makes Lustre a band to get lost in and to get lost to.

LustreLacking song titles and very little else to guide the listener, the narrative is a simple, yet eloquent one. From what I can gather of the four lines that make up the lyrics across two songs (yet, the pace is that slow) They Awoke… tells the story of some undescribed beings caught in an endless cycle, namely, awaking to the scent of spring. While the concept is short and sweet, the funereal pace of the music creates a sombre and tragic air. The atmosphere is palpable on this album and is thankfully free of the jarring upbeat sections that appeared on the previous EP, Of Strength and Solace. While they were fun and certainly some the catchiest little jingles I’ve heard Nachzeit produce, they were so at odds to the rest of the music it left quite a sour taste in my mouth.

At only forty minutes long, They Awoke… feels like it should have more space to really emphasise the mood that it creates, but I think that if that was the case it would trip over the line between monotonous layering and redundant navel gazing that a lot of these sorts of bands end up doing. Instead, it is a comfortably compact work that will grow on you with each listen – though I will say that it’s definitely not for everyone. Lustre taps into something very primal within my being and I really can’t wait for the weather to clear up so that I can go for a forest walk with an appropriately fitting soundtrack. If your shrink suggests you are listening to too much aggressive music and is trying to force Whalesong: The Greatest Hits on you, Lustre‘s latest offering might be just the thing to get them off your back!

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  • EntombeD

    What is the conversion rate of Angry Metal Points (AMPs) to USD?

    • Rory Molyneux

      Not too sure, but whatever it is, after this review I probably owe someone a lot of money!

    • Kalsten

      It’s over 9000!

  • SMOHLG

    I had never heard of Lustre before. Checked them out immediately after reading the first sentence of the second paragraph of your review. Love it.

    • As a guy with a Cobalt pic for your avatar, that’s not a surprise.. haha.

  • Kalsten

    I have read the review, and hear something they have in their Facebook and c’mon, a 4 for “this”?

    I am also a fan of the extreme metal, and I agree 100 % that sometimes you need something softer to chill out and relax from all the growls and brutality. I found very nice to listen to bands like Ghost, modern Anathema and so on, pero the band reviewed here sounds boring as hell.

    I am scared that, IMO, here in AMG the album ratings are getting higher and higher lastly. Time ago, when I saw a 4 or a 4.5, I knew that the record would be astonishing, but today sometimes you see a 4 and it is boring untalented album.

    • hwc

      I agree. The last couple of months the ratings is not as trustworthy as it used to be.

    • Dude, I can understand Funeral Doom and Ambient Black Metal are two genres that most people find lackluster, boring or whatever. I can understand why generally people don’t like it. But for the ones who like me, like this kind of music, this is a really killer record. One of the best ABM records of the year if you ask me.

      Ghost and modern Anathema are soft and not extreme. This is extremely ambiental music. The take is completely different. I’m not forcing you into liking this album, or its genre at all. But you really should know the genre before rating an album, and it really seems like you totally don’t.

    • Not everyone is me and Steel Druhm. If you’re not into this kind of music, then maybe it’s not a 4 to you. I wouldn’t give it a 4 either, but Lord Doom does. New blood means new opinions and those opinions don’t match yours.

      The choice for me is simple: keep the reviews contained to myself and Steel Druhm and do not post often. Or, get in new blood, have a bigger, better site with more diversity, but have reviews that don’t quite jive with what we had before for a feel. It’s a tough decision and I’ve decided to lean on more diversity.

      • hewico

        More reviews are better. That means more music exposure for the readers. The ratings are not that important, because I will always check out a band on YouTube and make my own decision about them. This website and the reviews are still excellent.

        • It’s tough, man. But I’m also trying to get it a little “under control” so that we have a really good feeling for what’s what and what they mean to each reviewer.

  • ZacP

    This reminds me of Summoning if they played with a more doomish sensibility.

    I like it, but not as much as Whalesong!

  • pie

    Amazing record. Thank you for the find.

  • Uzi T

    “Part I” really impressed me but the rest of the tracks just feel too static. I understand they are that way intentionally but still..I’d say as a form of art the project excels, but its purpose evades me, since it can hardly be called entertaining or moving when you have no tension & release IMO. Still, agree its a good break from modern metal etc..