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Leonov: Wake

Dante’s Inferno begins with the poet getting lost in a forest and discovering an entrance to the underworld. From there, he embarks on an epic and harrowing journey. The cover art for this album reminded the band of Dante because it also portrays a man lost in the forest, not far from a strange opening. As familiar as Dante might be, the band worries that some of the thematic connections could get lost on modern audiences. As they point out, forests are cut down and nature seems less mysterious.

Even though the cover art invokes Dante, this album is less about his poetry and more about the broader questions he was asking. From start to finish, this album is really about the ways human beings work out their lives, particularly in the face of problems such as death, decay, and loss. The band isn’t trying to answer life’s fundamental questions so much as they are attempting to find musical expressions of acceptance, empathy, and hope.

Musically, the album is largely built on a dark and melancholy blend of post-rock and doom metal. Some post-rock bands tend to wander a bit too much, but Leonov keeps things grounded with just the right amount of fuzz, ambience, and rhythm. Many listeners will enjoy Taran Reindal’s vocals. Her singing suits Leonov’s sound perfectly because they are so haunting and so mysterious. Bands like Leonov stand out because they nudge listeners into a reflective state of mind.

This is one of those albums that you’ll want to enjoy in multiple settings. It’s good walking music, but it would also suit more reflective moments. As a reflection on life and death, it’s a welcome companion. There are days when you just need music that plays along the border of wakefulness and sleep. This album does that beautifully by weaving together Reindal’s vocals with just enough doom to keep things grounded. If you like bands like True Widow, you’ll probably enjoy Leonov. Both bands have a doomgaze side, but Leonov is even more melancholy and reflective.

Overall, this is an excellent new release. The album is engaging from start to finish but it doesn’t reveal all its secrets at once. This is one of those albums that rewards multiple listens. I’ve had it on for a few hours now and I’m just as engaged as I was at the start. If you’re interested in Leonov, check out “I am Lion, I am Yours, “Eucharist,” and “Wake.” If you like those three tracks, you’ll also dig “Shem” and “Oceanode.” Highly recommended.

Track Listing:
1. I am Lion, I am Yours
2. Eucharist
3. Shem
4. Oceanode
5. Wake

Added: October 16th 2018
Reviewer: Carl Sederholm
Related Link: Band Label Page
Hits: 1005
Language: english

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