Anxiety Despair Languish is the fourth full-length from Italian instrumental band Lento. With three guitarists in the lineup, Lento’s focus is on atmospheric, sludgy and multilayered riff fests—with a sound akin to Mogwai’s dirges and roils cut with Isis-influenced laments. Unlike many of Lento’s post-metal kin, the band doesn’t take the epic or expected route. Forgoing the de rigueur and clearly signposted crescendos of many of the band’s peers, Anxiety Despair Languish is instead taut.
The album’s 13 songs sprint through a raft of moods, highlighting the band’s deft use of shading—a key element in keeping a solely instrumental work interesting. Whether you’ll find those quick pitches within and between tracks attractive depends entirely upon your tolerance for lurching to and fro (and Anxiety Despair Languish weaves at hurricane strength on occasion). But, at its best the album showcases a finely tuned juxtaposition of the high-octane and the meditative.