Belgian black metal band Lvthn first surfaced in underground black metal circles with the two-track demo entitled Adversarialism in 2014. After a few other releases, including a split with Lluvia entitled Illuminantes Tenebrae, which was released that same year, their new full-length album entitled Eradication of Nescience dropped earlier this year to small fanfare. It’s a pity really, as Adversarialism and Illuminantes Tenebrae showed great promise for the second-wave black metal inspired band.
Hopefully, this review can help change that anemic response to their debut full-length. Eradication of Nescience literally means the eradication of ignorance, or interpreted another way, is similar to an individual’s dawning of awareness – illumination, one could say, an epiphany at the moment ignorance is realized and ultimately defeated.
This album does show some primitive black metal attributes, true to the band’s influences, but the smoother production does allow for most instruments here to be heard without much strain. For better results, listen to the album with a good headset.
Primitive music is rarely associated with any dawning of awareness, as the quality of music has to suitably adhere to its purpose. It is therefore somewhat of a surprise that Lvthn attempts a dissociation from black metal that seeks to take listeners back in time when primitive culture fostered such ignorance, to perhaps imply that ignorance in the modern world has always morphed consistently with the changing times. Perhaps thematically, the olden ways were always a source of greater knowledge, buried in the past and accessible only by esoteric means. Enter Lvthn and Eradication of Nescience, an album that celebrates a style suitably primitive, but suitably mind-expansive. Some of the riffs here are akin to modern day ritual, however blistering in tempo.
Lvthn likes to start out blasting, slowing down a notch, then breaking out second-wave black metal’s least-kept secret, the mid-tempo punk riff, played here with the same moshpit spirit and energy.
The double-kick drums are in abundance on Eradication of Nescience. So are the loud cymbal crashes. Listeners can hear a bit of the bass on surround sound speakers armed with subwoofers. Metallers will find the notion of using hi-tech equipment to listen to black metal slightly egregious to the style of music here. There’s little sense listening to good music on a boombox guaranteed to degrade production values for the massively-hyped necro treatment. Instead, I recommend that listeners hear this record the way it was recorded.
A full-length album in track length, the record still manages to fly by quickly without the listener losing interest. Most of the record creates the impression that the band likes blistering tempos, slowing down only for some passages, before returning to holocaustic paces. Lvthn is in fine form, and their second-wave inspired sound is an update over the slightly overplayed template.
There are also tendencies for the riffs to use some dissonance, especially on some of the rung notes and strums when the bass, drums, and vocals all go away. What Lvthn does on Eradication of Nescience is by no means genre-defining or stylistically singular. What the band does, however, it does well. The vocals may sound incoherent, but the vocals are treated with some importance in regards to the lyrical themes. The riffs may sound similar, but they feature subtle nuances that untrained ears will not recognize clearly. It is therefore with emphasis do I remind listeners to listen intently before forming assumptions. Lvthn’s Eradication of Nescience may not present to fans as essential listening, but fans of fourth-wave, second-wave inspired throwback efforts that evolve the existing black metal template will not find a listen to this album a daunting task.
Quality abounds, and though the eight tracks here give the impression that the band lacks songwriting dynamics for a full-length album the way earlier metal bands added with emphasis, Eradication of Nescience will still please black metal fans hungry for black metal in large amounts, so scurry ignorance and support intelligent black metal art, which Eradication of Nescience without a doubt is.