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Left Hand Solution : Light Shines Black

Being a long time fan of Left Hand Solution I was happily surprised when I found the promo of this CD on my doorstep. After more than 4 years, hordes of delays and a slightly disappointing single the year before, what would this album offer? The answer to this question isn't simple.

Except from having become a lot heavier than on any of their previous releases, 'Light Shines Black' offers the listener a great variety of styles. The music is still dominated by Mariana Holmberg's deep wailing vocals, marking every single track with that LHS. feel we are familiar with. About two thirds of the tracks breathe depression, sadness and despair while dragging themselves forth at a slow pace. A track like 'Persistance of Memory' could have easily fitted on 'Fevered'.

The diversity comes from a range of songs in which the band freely experiments. From the more rockish title track, to the slightly electronic start of 'Soiled Souls', to the heavily 'Sabbath influenced, groovy track 'The Crooked Smile' the listener is shown a side of LHS. that was unknown until now. This does have a downside. The cold, numb atmosphere of 'Shadow Dance' and 'Fevered' is broken up by these tracks. Especially the cover 'Missionary Man' (oddly enough placed as 3rd track), brakes up the feel of the album.

However once 'Orient Nights' starts, you realise that LHS. are still masters of creating that cold and numb feel. It breathes misery and despair in a way that makes most songs on the mighty 'Fevered' bow their heads in shame. The album is closed by the acoustic track 'A Road to Nowhere'. It takes some getting used to, but eventually the deep vocals in combination with acoustics do get to you.

All in all, this album holds a lot of surprises that might take some getting used to, but LHS. are definately back and just as great as always, depression with a twist! The album also holds a bonus CD-rom part with the video of 'Missionary Man', just like the single released the year before did.

Reviewer's rating: Unrated


Tracklist :
1. Light Shines Black
2. Soiled Souls
3. Missionary man
4. Lucid Dream Desire
5.The Crooked Smile
6. Raven Wings
7. Vision
8. Persistence of Memory
9. Heart Laid Bare
10. Orient Nights
11. A Road to Nowhere

Multimedia track:
Missionary Man (video)

Duration : Approx. 41 minutes

Visit the Left Hand Solution bandpage.

Reviewed on ??-??-???? by Aldo Quispel
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