Lantern – II: Morphosis (Dark Descent)

Monday, 27th February 2017
Rating: 8/10

Curious what the definition of “Finnish old-school death metal” is? Then have a gander at Lantern. Formed in 2007, Lantern is the product of Cruciatus (guitars, bass, drums) and Necrophilos (vocals). The band’s 2013 Below debut was both timely and suggestively grim, the right blend of creepy, evil-soaked death metal in the vein of Autopsy, merged with the punchy thrash of Celtic Frost and Sarcofago. And while most old-school bands are inclined to simply build off or solely ape the past, Lantern has pushed the envelope beyond the norm on their sophomore album, II: Morphosis.

Can’t get much better than the production job here, which aesthetically, fits the vintage bill while bringing Lantern into modern times. Thus, the band’s grizzled and oftentimes raucous drum and riff combinations are like an unrelenting tornado, as so heard on “Sleeper of Hypnagog,” the album’s most diabolical cut. Organic melodies creep on through “Black Miasma” and “Cleansing of the Air,” while the volcanic “Hosting Yellow Fungi” (hopefully this song is about Athlete’s Foot) brims like a Scandinavian Morbid Angel. Elsewhere, don’t sleep on the obvious doom lean of “Virgin Damnation” (Necrophilos is rightfully unhinged here) or the adventurous “Lucid Endlessness,” the album’s fitting conclusion.

With so much love being thrown around for unconventional death metal, Lantern have quite the opportunity to become one of the style’s next “it” bands. Coupled with their inclusion on a label that has been doing nothing but right of late (Dark Desecent), Lantern have emerged with an early career breakthrough with II: Morphosis.