A Nebulous Being. The artwork certainly fits the title, but what about the music performed by French post metal band Lessen?
Starting with a slow, groovy break, “Many Faced God” segues into a dreamy clean part. Fans of post hardcore music akin to Devil Sold His Soul may instantly get some goosebumps here, as the clean vocals come in and finally lead into heavy riffing which is more than just DSHS-esque; this sounds like their record Blessed And Cursed, which is built around a brilliant mix of roughness and metallic elements.
Overall, Lessen‘s songs are quite lengthy, which lends a sense of drama and intensity to them. Some might seem a little too long, but it is not distracting at all. The band incorporates contrasts and changes, shifting from fast to slow tempos, and hard to soft dynamics. These juxtapositions deliver a lot of tension, which build a sense of excitement and suspense for the listener. The spoken word part in “Already Dead” is one such example of this approach, momentarily creating a sense of calm in order to build tension towards an emotional climax.
“Overcome” again reminds me a lot of Devil Sold His Soul, with its mind blowing ambiance, and metalcore/melodic hardcore vibes that are also similar to Being As An Ocean. There is, in fact, a lot of melody going on, which is based on a rousing harmonic concept and topped by emotional clean singing. The ending of the song is outstanding, as its groovy ambient passage could lead into another chorus, but instead ends abruptly.
Lessen know how to compose ambient clean parts, and make them sound similar to The Elijah in their impact. They accomplish this by letting the ambiance fall and rise, adding new tracks of guitars and coming to a climax. This technique makes for songs that last up to nine minutes, but allow a listener to fully engage in the towering song structures. There is a lot of post rock elements to find, which are reminiscent of bands like If These Trees Could Talk at times. This is exemplified in the first half of “Above Us”, which could be seen as an interlude.
After almost an hour of playtime, A Nebulous Being comes to an end with the closing track “Aleph”, which builds up on a minor-based melody and emotional backing vocals, heightened by the incoming tremolo guitars and some metalcore riffing. All in all, this song, and with it, the record, ends with a very dark tone. Maybe Lessen could think about adding some more details, such as strings, that would support the ambiance that is created by the guitars. Even if the sound is not perfect, it is at least fitting and genuine. This band might have a prosperous future in front of them, as this record is truly a very good one. Make sure to check them out if you are into post hardcore music, post rock or metal in general.
Notable Tracks: “Many Faced God”, “Overcome”, “Above Us”
FFO: Devil Sold His Soul, The Elijah, Being As An Ocean, If These Trees Could Talk