LAHMIA – Resilience

LAHMIA – Resilience

Lahmia is a ruined city in Nehekhara, located on the eastern side of the Worlds Edge Mountains but the Italian melodic death metal band likely takes the name after the demon from the horror "Drag Me To Hell", which is also the name of the opener on their debut album "Into The Abyss" (2012). The album was an interesting if somewhat generic melodeath endeavor in the vein of early In Flames and Dark Tranquillity, one I reviewed then on the now defunct zine, giving it a 4.5/6 score. I have since forgotten about them thinking they broke up so I was glad to find the new album download, this here "Resilience", in my haulix which I immediately snatched for a review. Has Lahmia, featuring vocalist Francesco Amerise, lead guitarist Flavio Gianello, rhythm guitarist Mathias Habib, bassist Corrado Ciaccia and drummer Andrea Torre, improved after those 6 years?

Boy, did they ever! Drawing influences from more than Gothenburg, they have honed their instrumental skills and songcraft significantly, to say nothing of the lyrical concept of persons overcoming trauma, as well as referring to their own near-demise as a band they have managed to avoid. Recorded at OuterSound Studios and mastered at Finnvox Studios by Mika Jussila the album has a perfect sound for this type of metal, guitars heavy and abrasive while lead melodies and riffs neatly complimenting each other instead of fighting for primacy over the section, all too often the case in melodic aggression. Needless to say, the Italians did not sit with thumbs up where the sun does not reach but created an album that is worthy to be included with the best of the best in melodic death metal. Francesco’s vocals may have great overtones of Johan Hegg (Amon Amarth) and Thomas "Tjompe" Josefsson (Evocation) and those two bands seem to exert the greatest influence over the songwriting and style presented, but the album is still littered with ebbs and flows, acoustic intersections, progressive transitions, multiple dual melodies, the works that would make Chuck Schuldiner (Death) smile in his grave if it were possible.

Now, that is not to say that the old influences are dead and gone, purged from the notebook. The old influences, such as the glorious In Flames (Elegy Of A Dying Sun) or Dark Tranquillity (The Frayed Lines of Time) are there but now they also recall Insomnium’s "Killjoy" (Elegy…) or Omnium Gatherum’s progressive tendencies (The Frayed…). None of the eight tracks worth less than 5/6 score, there are some truly magnifiscent ones such as the Amon Amarth by the way of Be’lakor high on Omnium Gatherum 11:30 minute epic suite "Age Of Treason" or the closer "Existential Vastness" highly reminiscent of Omnium Gatherum’s fantastic "Ophidian Sunrise", or "Divide Et Impera" with the closing melody recalling Trivium’s "When All Light Dies", or how about overtones of In Mourning’s "A Vow To Conquer The Ocean" and Swallow The Sun’s "Hope" in "Void of Humiliation"?

It may appear to me that the first two tracks, "Elegy…" and "Her Frantic Call" or the more aggressive "Limitless" are not as magnifiscent as the rest, some of this material still bearing slight traces of generic riffing but by no means let that perception of mine dissuade you from reaching for "Resilience" if you love fresh, highly sttatified and infectious melodic death metal where aggression and harmony are one and the same powerful expression of, to quote the band themselves, melancholy.

Lahmia knocked me off my reviewer’s rocker with "Resilience". At just eight tracks and under forty minutes they have created an experience worthy of mentioning in one breath with Insomnium, In Mourning, Be’lakor and Amon Amarth while sounding fresh, fairly unique and, shall we say, resilient, in the process setting the bar way up . Bravissimo, signori!