Bands like Periphery, Monuments, and TesseracT have established themselves for closing in on a decade, and their legacy shows itself in our inboxes daily. Are we in a second generation of djent? Boston based Lattermath may just think so, as their moniker implies an aftermath, or second wave. Is that too bold of a connection? Their self-titled debut, released on March 10, provides an answer to that inquiry.
Album introductions are an understated art; if nothing else, when implemented well, they demonstrate attention to album tone and details. “Bottomless” is an ominous opener, filled with eerily chiming clean guitar, reversed swells and hand drums. Lattermath quickly establishes their capacity for subtlety before the piece segues seamlessly into “Trench”. Instant self-titled era Periphery comparisons can be made, from the guitar tone to Eli Cutting’s screams, which are certainly reminiscent of an early Spencer Sotelo. Cutting’s singing vocals weren’t instantly accessible, with a slight operatic quality that initially threw me off. However, he establishes himself as an ambitious and capable vocalist through the course of the record, easily comparable to early Sotelo, Corelia’s Ryan Devlin, or A Sense of Gravity’s C.J. Jenkins.
Lattermath demonstrate their aptitude for dualistic beauty and brutality throughout the course of ten tracks. In its forty-four minutes, the self-titled record contains atmospheric and anthemic passages on tracks like “Arbiter” and “Caves”, with the piano outro to “Ionsphere” adding a delicate nuance to the record. These songs are contrasted by the dissonance, technical skill and frenetic structuring of tracks like “Redemption”, recalling Meshuggah and Car Bomb until the Animals As Leaders-like clean tapping at the end of the song provides a captivating reprieve.
Though the first seven tracks of the record are truly enjoyable and excellently executed djent, I felt a little underwhelmed by the lack of a distinct voice in an oversaturated genre. And then the last three tracks happened. A throwback to the opening ”Bottomless”, a primordial tone returns to the record with the foreboding “Death”. This 90 second passage flows into the longest, most progressive, and likely my favorite, song on the record: “Breathing Again”. Conjuring the mysterious aesthetic of Tool or Mastodon, Lattermath finally shows their capacity for using djent as a means for musical exploration, as opposed to an end. This experimentation is sweetened by the closer, “Broken Glass”, where layered, choir-esque vocals flit amidst clean guitars, piano, and organ.
There is not much of a need for generational classifications if the time periods aren’t distinct from one another. Though there have been a bevy of perfectly acceptable, even awesome, djent records over the past couple of years, there hasn’t always been enough progression or change to start something new. Much of Lattermath’s record is an enjoyable ode to the genre’s progenitors, but the closing third of the record is onto something fresh for the genre. The group’s self-titled debut an impressive, mature beginning for the band, and I am genuinely excited to hear Lattermath build their burgeoning, distinct sound with future releases.
Notable Tracks: “Trench”; “Redemption”; “Breathing Again”
FFO: Periphery, Corelia, A Sense of Gravity