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Brazil Country of Origin: Brazil

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Buy on: Bandcamp
Type: Full-Length
Release Date: February 2nd, 2024
Genre: Black, Death, Melodic
1. In Waves
2. Whipping Bottles
3. Time Doesn't Heal
4. The Clay Messiah
5. A Ofensa
6. The Argonaut
7. Caesarean
8. The Vaccum Extractor Paradigm

Review by Fernando on March 29, 2024.

Brazil is one of the shall we say underrated countries when it comes to metal music, those in the know will mention names like Sepultura, Sarcófago, Vulcano, Sextrash and Mysitifier, which continue to influence bands worldwide in extreme metal to this day, but also, because the country has an extremely prolific and dedicated metal subculture that’s still thriving. I mention this because today we have Brazilian melodic black metal outfit Litosth, and their third album, Cesariana.

I was unfamiliar with this band, so checking this record was definitely a good introduction, albeit with some caveats, and since I want to focus on this album's best qualities and the band’s skill, I’ll be brief with my gripes. My main issue with this record’s music is how the band are very indebted to their influences, particularly Norwegian black metal and early Swedish melodic black metal, on the former comparisons can be found with Arcturus and Borknagar as the music has that same grandiose and ornate feeling those bands display, and with the latter there’s the influence of Sacramentum and Dissection in the form of funereal melodies. On the bright side the band certainly do the best they can with these influences as the record does sound very triumphant and epic, but in some areas it was distracting how much they resemble those bands.

With that out of the way, where this record does shine is with the musicianship, and more impressively how this is technically a solo outing which is mindblowing. Sole member and multi instrumentalist Maicon Ristow is clearly a man of many talents as took it upon himself to make this album be as epic as it is, and also had the chops to pull it off, every riff, synth line, and percussion hits hard and more impressively, the album doesn’t sound as if was a solo show, even with it’s clean production, which is a testament to Ristow’s skills. And on top of that he’s backed by top notch production that really makes the music pop, and it’s really just another good example of how a black metal band can sound great with a clean production, as long as the musicians know what they’re doing.

One last aspect I want to mention that I also thoroughly enjoyed and both the band and it’s label Personal Records state, is the incorporation of more eclectic styles such as doom metal, symphonic flourishes and even dark pop music into their style of melodic black metal, now, while the mention of pop music being incorporated into black metal might sound like a recipe for absolute disaster, where Litosth succeeds is the how they experiment with pop music structures, and more specifically the likes of Depeche Mode and Tears for Fears, and this works rather well because a sense of atmosphere is created through melody and the synthesizers add an additional gothic texture that works really well with black metal and without losing its essence.

Overall this was a pleasant surprise of a record, and despite my gripes with the overt black metal influences, the more diverse influence of music gave me much more that I was expecting, and the end result is an album that feels free of limitations. My only hope is that wherever this project goes next, it manages to overcome being reliant on past black metal convention.

Rating: 8 out of 10