Lo-Ruhamah
Anointing

It’s been 10 years since Kansas City’s  Lo- Ruhamah released their impressive debut, The Glory of God, and then a subsequent interview with the band, cleared up the band’s deep philosophical themes and leanings, leanings which again arise on the band’s long awaited follow up, Anointing.

Though not a Christian band, as you see by the album title, the trio still lean on plenty of divine and religious themes , symbols and concepts (Lo-ruhamah is the name of the first daughter of the prophet Hosea and his wife Gomer in the Book of Hosea), making a intellectual, challenging album even more challenging and intellectual. The band still plays a form of post rock inspired, atmospheric,  organic black metal that culls from the likes of Wolves in the Throne Room,  the first Ulver album, Opeth, Rune and such, but certainly have a unique sound that is hard to categorize.

The band appears to be leaning a little more on the post rock side, (to these ears, a more Light Bringer influence has crept in) and less abrasive black  metal, aside from the vocals. The songs are for more convoluted, twisty and busy than the more purer black metal of the debut. The effect is two fold. 1) the album is less immediate and memorable. 2) The album is a far deeper, impactful, intricate release requiring many listens to unfurl (hence the delayed review).

Consequently, this is the type of album that needs to be heard, not just my words read. Case and point, openers “Mouth” with so many subtle things going on from its slow, gruff, post rock ,initial build, to the clever dancing melody and bass going on in the back ground of “Sibilant Chorus”. Of note, the band has condensed the song length considerably from the 10 and 11 minute songs of the debut. This means excellent winding, shifting tracks like “Rending”, “Coronation” and shimmering standout “The Corridor” still hold your attention with everything that’s going on, but it’s not exhaustive. That said, tracks like “Charisma” or “Lidless Eye” just seem a bit too indulgent and shifty, with no real riff or meat to dig into. Also, I was glad the clean vocals got dropped, thought there are some pained shouts amid the screeches and growls and not as distracting, they are a little off putting (“Aeon”).

On a sort of related note, the cover art, displayed fully on the suddenly popular A5 digipack packaging is utterly gorgeous, and the band/I, Voidhanger should be proud of the tangible product they put out as well as the musical one.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by E. Thomas
October 5th, 2017

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