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Latitude Egress: To Take Up the Cross

I don't know much about the one-man music that Niklas Theile creates (he also goes by the name of Nerrath, for those who don't know). What I do know is that he regularly plays all the instruments on his recordings, including everything on this album, at least as far as I can tell. One of these projects, Licht Erlischt, was actually the original name under which this album was going to appear. But, for several reasons, Nerrath decided to change the name to Latitude Egress, hoping this album would not only make for a striking debut, but also a shift away from certain aspects of DSBM or depressive suicidal black metal. Nerrath is tired of the way themes of self-pity and suicide are romanticized in certain kinds of music. I can hardly blame him; music doesn't always have to be a gush of raw and negative emotions. Well, let's get to the music.

As for the album, it's mostly funeral doom music, performed with occasional forays into doom / stoner / black metal. Given that those styles can be pretty depressing, what does Nerrath do differently? First, he mostly performs with clean vocals. Second—and this is only a guess—the lyrics are most likely a bit more upbeat. I can't be certain since I don't have them, but it's safe to say the music here isn't all about suicide and self-loathing, right? The songs are interesting, longish, and occasionally too repetitive. Most of the tracks range to approximately 6-9 minutes in length. I liked the album more at the beginning than at the end. The reason is that the songs just move in the same direction and take on roughly the same shape. I understand that lots of bands do similar things, but there's always the risk of just dragging things on. This album does that. Ultimately, it's not a bad album; it's just not the revolution in funeral doom music that it wants to be. I did like the way each track was titled with the same opening, a variation on "To X a Y." I was tempted to write my review with sentences that begin in the same way—you know, "To listen to funeral doom." Or: "To the listener an album." None of my ideas, however, were very interesting. They certainly weren't funny. In the end, the music here isn't bad, but it can be overbearing, just like the titles.

Track Listing:
1. To Take Up the Cross When Through It You Can Win a Kingdom
2. To Cast a Spot Upon the Death of Your Death
3. To Walk at the Hands of a Dial
4. To Reap the Flame with Fingers and a Tongue
5. To Tread on Loose Boardwalks
6. To Restore the Pride to Petravore
7. To March Along the Desolate Peripheries of Mind

Added: January 18th 2015
Reviewer: Carl Sederholm
Related Link: Bandcamp Page
Hits: 2225
Language: english

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