As 2012 is nearing its end, it begs the classic question – where does the time go? Once again another year chock full of albums to lose yourselves in and while the end is near, we still haven’t reached the edge yet, proven by the arrival of another of the year’s immense albums in the shape of Lento’s Anxiety Despair Languish. The Italian instrumental sludge band’s fourth album is probably their tightest, most impressive and breath-taking to date. Rampant with riffs on every corner and bend of this meandering opus, Anxiety Despair Languish is still an album poised to conjure atmosphere and invigorating release at the same time.
Last year’s Icon summoned a similar chain of events and, at the time, was Lento’s finest moment but the Italians were clearly fuelled by the album’s strengths to craft something even more imposing, something just… more.
Lento is a band that is inundated with peers, playing in a similar vein. It can be difficult to pluck out the really interesting ones from the heap of bands just plodding along. Lento appear to have made a conscious effort to simply trounce all around them by releasing an album drenched in vim and vigour. Favouring shorter concise songs over protracted trudging dirges, Anxiety Despair Languish moves fearlessly between different paces and different tones and moods.
While juddering bass guitars maintain solid grooves that are simply heavy and punishing, they’re counteracted by spectral lead guitars. Sometimes there’s a riff that wouldn’t sound out of place on an Eyehategod record only to have slick, lustrous guitar melodies glossed over the top. This is no more true than on album opener Glorification of the Chosen One and the relentless Death Must Be The Place, which gives way to the imposing and towering Questions and Answers.
Unlike many bands of the ilk, Lento don’t rely on clichéd swells and predictable crescendos, rather Anxiety Despair Languish just flows beautifully from start to end, in a totally natural state. The title of Anxiety Despair Languish is certainly attempting to convey a theme of hopelessness and futility but, the opposite is true as each of these compositions is a wholly invigorating effort, and at times breathtakingly cathartic.
Anxiety Despair Languish is available from Denovali.