LLNN – Unmaker
Release Date: 24/09/21
Running Time: 39:52
Review by Steven Hooke
Danish four-piece LLNN are not ones to wait around, with the release of their third album (four major releases overall) in five years. Traditionally a genre of prolonged turnover, the Post-Metal Doom-bringers seem to be careering towards an end goal of being the heaviest thing in the known universe.
The current state they have reached with “Unmaker” is “really, bastard heavy.”
Sounding somewhere in the ballpark of Deathcore played at 0.25 speed, Sludge Metal that has transcended into full-blown tar, and whatever noise is emitted from the deepest, darkest corner of a black hole, LLNN offer an astounding soundtrack to the apocalypse, expanding their musical relationship with keyboardist Ketil G. Sejersen, who joined the band around the time of LLNN’s previous album, 2018’s “Deads”. His work in tandem with the stomach-turning riffs, and thunderous drums, can evoke rage, fear, and despair, manipulating emotions more than WWII Germany’s Jericho trumpets ever could. On the likes of ‘Scion’, despite the song being in perpetual beatdown-mode, Ketil’s shrieking keys allow little chance for the listener to settle, or even ride with the groove, instead adding to the constant onslaught.
Even when Christian Bonnesen’s riff game expands outside the mortar-fire stomp, injecting a touch of Post-Hardcore in ‘Obsidian’, a Meshuggah-esque groove in ‘Division’, and even Black Metal into ‘Forger’ and ‘Desecrator’, Rasmuses Furbo (bass) and Sejersen (drums) are still 1000% dictating the tempo, at all times. Their world building in ‘Tethers’, alongside Ketil, creating a calm-before-the-storm isolation before Bonnesen comes in to kick your head in, is morbidly marvellous, leading nicely to the serene finale of ‘Resurrection’.
The absolute highlight of the album though comes from half-way point ‘Interloper’. A gorgeous song, with a slow-build, typically brutal stomp, and then a spine-tingling chorus that would be suited to Hell itself, were they allowed to submit to Eurovision. Ketil’s work in the chorus and ensuing breakdown takes the guise of a delicate, emotional funeral scene, straight into sci-fi horror where the many-teethed space demon is hunting your dumb “should we split up?” arse.
LLNN are sitting pretty in a venn diagram of being ridiculously heavy, and being genuinely interesting. While the past few years has seen an emergence of beatdown Hardcore and Nu-Metalcore, many of those acts already sound repetitive, and can be traced back to a band that burst onto the scene only a few years prior. LLNN are diving two-footed into Sludge, Post-Hardcore and Post-Metal territory, and immediately grabbing the spotlight. Their fascinating ability to operate in a fairly strict tempo range, yet have a sound so gripping, thanks to their collusions with and appreciations of horror and sci-fi movie and video game soundtracks, is amazing. An intelligent thoughtfulness goes into this music, and what comes out is fucking unreal.
Christian Bonnesen – Vocals, Guitar
Rasmus Furbo – Bass
Ketil G. Sejersen – Synths
Rasmus G. Sejersen – Drums
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