Saturday, March 21, 2015

Shores of Ladon

Shores of Ladon - Eindringling
Eternity Records/Sol Records, 2013
Genre: Black Metal

1. Durch die Augen des Raben
2. Eindringling
3. Sturm der Unrast
4. Rauhnachtserwachen
5. Waldlied
6. Ungebrochen

It seems "Lupercal" was a success enough to get Shores of Ladon moving towards their debut full-length, "Eindringling". This was, honestly, my first experience with Shores of Ladon and it was originally sort of a random purchase from Iron Bonehead Productions, while I was a doing a larger order. I gave a quick listen to one of the tracks on youtube and they seemed interesting enough to check out further, I had no idea what I was getting into.

Now that I've heard "Lupercal" I was expecting more of that very interesting blend of sorrowful raw Black Metal and "Eindringling" really delivers this to us. The strange with the Shores of Ladon material is that it has all been released before, just like "Lupercal". Prior to this a lot of the songs were released via two song tape releases over the years. It seems the band takes quite a while to compose its songs and at this point I can only hope that amidst this re-recording of old material its giving them the necessary time to write new and even more powerful material.

Regardless, the studio recordings of this songs really brings out the majesty of the material. If I thought "Lupercal" had some wonderful material on it, I wasn't prepared for how incredible "Eindringling" would be. They simply do a wondrous job of marrying the spirit of ancient Black Metal and re-casting it in a more modern writing style, making, to me, Shores of Ladon not just another Black Metal band. Material on here conjures up all the memories listed on "Lupercal", but I feel the tracks on here can hit along the atmosphere of Ulver's "Bergtatt" at certain times, which is quite a beautiful reference. Minus Garm's clean vocals of course, but, honestly, if you're not Garm you should probably stick with harsh vocals and this is exactly what Shores of Ladon do. I tend to fall on the side of preferring harsh vocals over clean, so Shores of Ladon are doing it right, as far as I'm concerned. At times you can kind of tell the difference from their earlier songs compared to the newer, because the composition on the newer is a bit more refined and mature. Nonetheless the re-recorded material from their 2010 release is still quite solid as far as Black Metal is concerned.

As with "Bergtatt", "Eindringling" is only 36 minutes long and feels a bit short. I wish there was just one more song to hear! In any event, Shores of Ladon seem to be poised for becoming one of the stand out projects in Germany and I've taken to recommending them whenever people ask me for new Black Metal recommendations. I really hope totally new material is on the horizon, but, as with everyone else, I really do want quality over quantity, so I'm willing to wait as long as Shores of Ladon need to create a new full-length.

Shores of Ladon - Lupercal
Eternity Records/Sol Records, 2012
Genre: Black Metal

1. Einklang
2. Knochenstaub
3. Lupercal
4. Brut und Seuche (Intro)
5. Brut und Seuche

I don't hold out much hope of finding the material released prior to "Lupercal" from Shores of Ladon. The good news here is that much of the prior material has been re-recorded by this point and it seems a lot of the "Promo 2010" material is still unreleased. However, I've decided to just start with "Lupercal", because this band is simply too good to ignore any longer.

Despite being a relatively new project this band really harnessed the sound of the early German Black Metal scene. The spirit of the mid-90's is definitely alive with this band and bands that can really hit this style well are something I really end up loving. It doesn't matter that they may not be doing anything new, this sounds absolutely wonderful to me. The EP opens with a somber guitar passage that feels reminiscent of the work found on Bethlehem's "Dictius te Necare", making me instantly interested in this. Indeed much of Shores of Ladon's riffing has a very somber feel to it, sort of answering the question: "What if Bethlehem had decided to play raw Black Metal instead..." and the answer is something wonderful. A lot of the elements feel reminiscent of fellow countrymen Pest, who put out some simply stellar material over the years. Shores of Ladon seem ready to take up their flag, but with a far more sorrowful backdrop, but nonetheless filling the space with extreme Black Metal. These wonderful passages are backed by shrieked vocals and blast beats, making Shores of Ladon's particular blend of influences feel rather different than your run of the mill emulators who simply want to revive Darkthrone for the millionth time.

I simply can't help but be instantly drawn into Shores of Ladon's world and I feel this will instantly appeal to quite a few Black Metal fans out there. The production is still rather raw, but very audible. Think later Moonblood releases and I think you'll get a decent picture of their quality. Or think early Pest releases. All very good and really helps add to the dark and raw atmosphere Shores of Ladon manages to harness.

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