Working from the template of Doom and Sludge, Belgium’s Lethvm infinitely increases the brutality with which they press their considerable weight upon the ears of listeners by introducing a raw immediacy that does not typically present itself within those genres. As their moniker suggests, Lethvm seeks to embrace the destructive possibilities of music, continually building soundscapes only to burn them down in increasingly spectacular fashion. Listeners will find traces of Powerviolence within This Fall Shall Cease’s seven tracks, an important distinction which informs the extremity of the album’s varying emotional peaks.
Whether they are exploring rage, sadness, the darkness or even occasional glimpses of beauty, Lethvm does so with a snarling intensity which cloaks them with an aesthetic of danger that we are rarely lucky enough to observe. Looking into a moment from the penultimate track “An Encounter With The Sun,” the performance toward the end of the song seems to reveal a willingness, even a desire on the band’s behalf to demolish their respective instruments; to erode their vessels for the opportunity to crush listeners and raze their own creation in the interest of pushing an emotional envelope that is as breathtaking as it is volatile. This instance could indeed be characterized as “subdued” in comparison to other spots throughout the album, so be prepared to listen with clenched teeth and fists.
A savage rhythm section and tortured screams collide with soaring riffs in a way that is brilliantly jarring, forcing the listener to grapple often with whether they should stomp the ground beneath them in anguish or raise their heads and bellow victoriously toward the heavens. The ability to do both over the course of individual compositions is what gives This Fall Shall Cease an uncommonly precious value.
Shipping late August 2021