Before starting this review, I was listening to/reviewing the reissue of Winter’s 1990 masterpiece Into Darkness. Whether directly or not, I can tell they had an impact on Lantern and their new album Dimensions.

I bought into the hype of Lantern’s previously release, but it overall left me with a cold feeling. Not that cold, frosty black metal feeling, but that “what you thought was going to be a good thing, but didn’t turn out as well as you hoped, like all of my romantic relationships” feeling. It garnered some good and even stellar reviews throughout metaldom, so I’m thinking I was in the minority.

To begin the album is the 7-minute track called “Strange Nebula,” which wastes very little time getting moving with some excellent drumming and a solid lead to go along with the blasting. The vocals begin about a minute in with a pulverizing riff. While it has gone through a couple of changes, I noticed myself looking down at the time on the track, only to realize it was about half over. More changes occur, but they’re not different enough for me to distinguish from the last riff. A coherent, decent opener, but I’m not impressed.

A shorter track follows in the next one, which is called “Beings.” It’s not bad, but it is ultimately unremarkable as well. “Portraits,” which follows immediately after, starts out with a slightly different vocal delivery and a cleanly played guitar. It doesn’t take long, but then again, it doesn’t have long, since the track itself barely eclipses 2 minutes, for it to return to a familiar sounding riff. Despite it being the shortest cut so far, it is the most impactful, and is a path the band should consider traveling a bit more.

“Cauldron of Souls” stood out to me as well because of the lead, which begins as buried about a minute-and-a-half in. With about two minutes left, there’s dead silence, then another lead comes in, which lasts for about a minute. The last 30 seconds or so are the best of this album so far.

We’ve skipped one, but let’s talk about the final track “Monolithic Abyssal Dimensions.” It is indeed monolithic. The entire album is 39 minutes. 14-plus of which come from this track. There’s nothing about it too off the beaten path until about 4 minutes in. This is where the vocals take a break for a minute and we have some semi-clean guitar. Another minute later, we have the same, except the arrangement is different and a nice guitar lead occurs. It almost sounds like power metal for a moment before going back into the blasting. There are a few other great parts throughout the track.

However, “great parts” is how the album can be defined, in my opinion. There are great sections throughout, but nothing that really sticks. Those great parts may sound good. There are certainly some headbangable riffs, but they frequently last a short amount of time and are not repeated. This is album number 3 for these guys and they still sound like a band struggling to write repeatable songs. It’s not completely irredeemable as there are qualities to enjoy, but after many listens, nothing stands out. It’s a pass for me.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by J Mays
August 4th, 2020


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