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Lento

Anxiety Despair Languish

(Denovali; US: 27 Nov 2012; UK: 5 Nov 2012)

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.

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Craig Hayes is based in Aotearoa New Zealand, and he is a contributing editor and columnist at PopMatters. Alongside his reviews and feature articles, Craig's monthly column, Ragnarök, traverses the metal spectrum. He is the co-author of PopMatters' regular metal round-up, Mixtarum Metallum, contributes to radio shows and numerous other sites, and he favours music that clangs, bangs, crashes, or drones. Craig can be found losing followers daily on twitter @sixnoises.


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