Laetitia In Holocaust
Rotten Light

I’m not entirely sure how to describe the second, self-released album from Italy’s Laetitia In Holocaust. I mean, if the moniker and the cover art–a group of giant insects gang banging the planet earth–doesn’t clue you in the level of weirdness contained on Rotten Light, I’m not sure I can help.

Falling ever so generally under avant-garde, atmospheric black metal umbrella, this duo play some of the most hard to define, off the wall music I’ve heard recently. Imagine if you will, Negura Bunget‘s atmospheric and acoustic moments, mixed with seemingly random, programmed percussion and FX, croaked vocals and spoken words and the occasional riff here and there, and you might get close to the 7 songs and 42-minutes that makes on Rotten Light. And while that mix sound terrible in theory, it isn’t quite so terrible in practice — though it takes some getting used to and an open minded metal head to absorb it.

At times, Rotten Light is pretty unlistenable, coming across as a complete mess of processed drums, croaks and strumming, with very little actual black metal. And the 9 minute opening track “Dialogue With The Sun (White Lions Rising)” does little to inspire confidence as it isn’t so much of a song, but more grating and indulgent,  free form acoustic jam with jangly bass lines, vampyric rasps and samples of lions roaring and growling for much of the time. But it ends with a nice, somber acoustic sway. “Black Ashen Aurora”  and “Le Perdu De Novembre”  are chaotic, direct sort of metal tracks where the riffs are scatter shot strumming and urgent programmed drums. The thing is, at times there’s is some sort of underlying,  structure that snakes into your consciousness here and there. Its almost is a strange, trance inducing way despite superficially coming across as sheer discordance- but it can be a hypnotic discordance, as the acoustic lines rarely stray from a mesmerizing, relaxed gait, while the drums and programming clatters away. There’s rarely any sort of discernible chords or riffs. If you can’t tell, it’s very hard to describe.

Where the unlistenable part comes in, is trying to listen to the music for an entire album, unless  you are tripping balls at some Romanian vampire cosplay, occult rave. I mean by the time you get through the bipolar plod and patter “Ascension to the Cursed Water”, the languid, but sanity sapping mood and strum of “Sulla Soglia Deli’ Eternia”  or the spiraling canter and croak  of “Sons of Ice”, you might be at your limit just craving some sort of simple riff, chord or simple song structure. Closer “The Inaccessible Door”, might the the album’s most accessible track delivering a simple, drum-less acoustic/spoken word number before finishing with the album’s only actual black metal riff.

A challenging but somewhat confounding listen, I applaud Laetitia In Holocaust for indeed ignoring most black metal paradigms. But I cant recommend Rotten Light to anyone but the most ardent and open minded acolyte looking for the sound track to their next mind altered trip into insanity.





[Visit the band's website]
Written by Erik T
August 24th, 2011


  1. Commented by: gabaghoul

    but can you fuck to it?

  2. Commented by: Storm King

    The above comment wins the internet.

  3. Commented by: Grymmbear

    To gabaghoul…


    Bravo, man… I’m in tears right now, that was awesome.

  4. Commented by: faust

    rotflmao @ Gaba’s comment.

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