The Chilean post-black metal artist Lascar sounds absolutely ferocious on their new album Distant Imaginary Oceans, which is available now. As if it’s a musical encapsulation of a storm-swept sea, the raw black metal of the release features deeply stirring, wave-like surges of melody that flow past the listener as the fiercely pummeling guitar rhythms and frequently gut-punching barrages of blast beats proceed. From the very first moments, the lightning flashes of melody that ring out through the mix feel absolutely gripping, like they’re musically encapsulating lurches for safety while trapped in an isolated boat like the one on the album’s cover art.
As the album proceeds, the mournful fullness of those melodies really shines. After a brief continuation of the melodic flashes amidst the raw black metal during the opening segments of “Novelization,” the artist turns towards somber, plucked guitar melodies — although the full force of the album’s raw black metal returns quickly with the force of a tidal wave. Still, even those segments of ferocity are consistently marked by flashes of guitar melody that feel deeply mournful. The sheer force of the performance makes the music feel like it’s capturing moments when perhaps the ocean itself is somehow in mourning. There’s a stunning, all-encompassing grandiosity to the album’s experience.
Distant Imaginary Oceans feels like an apt album for pondering what truly lays at a distance, both psychologically and physically speaking. There’s a confrontation with an ominously looming terror thanks to the sheer magnitude of the riffing, and at the same time, there’s a brisk confrontation with the outlines and limits of our own emotional states. The opening guitar melodies of “The Lights on the Ocean” almost feel like a funeral dirge, since they’re especially slow yet still pummelingly intense.
The hoarse guitar melodies on album closer “Ode to the Sea” also feel slow — at least slower than they could be — but over on that track, the performance has somewhat of a dead-eyed, stern feel, as if the boat metaphorically carrying listeners along through the album’s soundscapes has reached its final destination. The turmoil has not stopped, and the lyrics tell a tale of a seafarer apparently meeting their end — but at least the journey was made.
Check out the music below!