Lethian Dreams – A Shadow of Memories (Self-Released)

Monday, 19th October 2020
Rating: 9/10

Lethian Dreams Red Silence Lodge was one of those ‘blow you away from out of nowhere’ type of releases. A random Bandcamp find back in 2014 that struck a chord with how serene and gloomy it was. But then, nothing. It’s been six years since any new music has come from the Lethian Dreams camp, but in listening to A Shadow of Memories, it’s a wait worth indulging.

For the uninitiated, Lethian Dreams can be categorized under the doom tag, but don’t expect anything in the realms of heaviness – except of the emotional variety. Lethian Dreams is like the soundtrack to a gray, murky day with a light rain that you know isn’t going anywhere in the near future. It’s solemn, pensive, and more than a bit downtrodden. Capturing that same sort of weightiness in the music of an act like Anathema more than anyone else, A Shadow of Memories is an experience that resonates with a sense of longing. You can hear a yearning sorrow as the riffs gracefully move at slower tempos, but occasionally rising up into more ethereal and ‘light piercing the clouds’ moments (see “Only a Past”). This is an album that rides on ambiance and atmosphere, settling into a mood engulfed in a number of acoustic moments, post-rock riffing, and some doomy droning and despite its sullen vibes, each track manages to find itself as a compelling piece that is meant to tug at the heartstrings. Whether it’s the quiet “You Say” or the glooming buzz of “Tidal,” the melancholy is going to stick with you. Giving the band an ace in the hole, Carline Van Roos’ vocals are almost ghost-like in their whisper-y, soothing calm – full of sadness but entirely beautiful and pushing you further through the release.

A Shadow of Memories is not an upbeat or joyous listen. It’s the type of thing that you really have to sit down and listen to as well to let it take you on a depressive tale. But ultimately, it’s a beautiful and moving experience that will leave an impact.

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