Post black metal is a sort of funny, controversial genre. Not controversial as its predecessor, the second wave of black metal, or in the same way but many think that’s it’s just another meaningless subgenre. Black metal itself is not “old” a genre, so how can we already have a “post black metal” scene? Honestly, though I find all the labels we, and I, put on black metal, I don’t really pay a lot of attention to what makes post black metal, post black metal. It has its roots in shoegaze and the avant garde scenes, that’s all I really know for sure and all I really care about. Despite the oddity of the subgenre, I love a lot of the bands within it. Alcest, Deathspell Omega, and a new favorite of mine: Lascar, hailing for Santiago, Chile of all places. Their debut album hit Bandcamp in January and since then it has begun a small, be dedicated following. Lascar is the work of a single man, Gabriel Hugo, but listening to the album you wouldn’t know that. Indeed, it was only after I started researching the band that I found out, and that the band has only been around since 2014.
Absence may only be four songs and barely pass the thirty-minute mark but in that time it manages to strike at the heart. The logo looks like a death metal logo with its indistinguishable mush so I was expecting a lot of heavy, ponderous riffage but instead I was hit by a lot of depressive black metal melodies enhanced by blackgaze distortions. The music is slow, each melody taking a few minutes to play out while the vocals are relegated to howl and screech in the background. I don’t even mind the lack of emphasis on the vocals, rather I think it’s a strength that Lascar should play to in the future, the focus is squarely on the instruments and the musicality which is right where it should be. I loved the talent in the band, there are snippets of a million different sounds originating in raw black metal, depressive black metal, ambient metal, even some funeral doom, all wrapped in a blackgaze cloak. Every influence and technique is used masterfully to create a very even sound. The drums were pretty quiet and that might be my only negative for the album; black metal may not place a lot of emphasis on the drums but I personally like to hear the drums fill up more than just background noise. However, that is my only complaint, everything else on the album is stellar.
It has clear vision and purpose. It takes a lot of influences, I personally could hear a lot of Windir, Deathspell Omega, and Burzum, and uses similar techniques and approaches to create something that feels and sounds similar but also has a very original sound to it. I look forward to what this band can do in the future. There is a lot of potential here, a lot of talent, and a lot of vision within the first real album. I think there are things that can be improved upon but ultimately everything about Lascar is good so I look forward to more of the same. I would highly recommend this to fans of blackgaze, post black metal, and depressive black metal, there’s something here that everyone can enjoy.
Listen and support!