Lutharö - Unleash The Beast - (9/10)
Published on November 20, 2018
Genre:Thrash / Melodic Death / Heavy Metal
O the joys of random YouTube clicking! The audience that would typically love a band like Lutharö get exactly what they want within a few seconds of watching the official video for “Unleash The Beast” – the title-track from their brand new EP. For the last few years, these Canadian thrashers have been quietly ticking over – having released one other great EP in 2015 – yet to bless us with a full-length studio album. This is a shame because the quality of songwriting on offer here is top notch. I have no doubt that they can provide a healthy LP given their choice of style. What Lutharö offer is a melodic strain of thrash metal with melo-death overtones and light progressive tinges. Think of Unleash The Archers buying shots of Jagermeister for Iron Maiden and Arch Enemy. Stylistic analyses notwithstanding, they’re fucking awesome.
Unleash The Beast provides exactly what one wants from an EP; four full-length tracks that give a decent overview of the band’s sound, with no bullshit B-sides or pointless covers in sight. Sure, the opening intro is almost entirely worthless but it only lasts 26 seconds, so if you feel skipping it is vital, you need to loosen your schedule. It only takes “Dead Ringer’s” gorgeous duel lead guitar and mighty Halford-esque scream from vocalist Krista Shipperbottom (best. surname. ever.) to convince you of the Canadian’s credentials. These two characteristics are thankfully present for the whole EP. Guitarists John Raposo and Victor Bucur are absolutely on fire when soloing off each other or harmonizing together – like the whole middle section of the title-track. And Krista’s fearsome high-pitched screams give me shivers in the best way. Not only is she melodically rock-solid, but her growls are majorly impressive, giving Lutharö a dual personality which pushes the envelope of their sound.
As with all well-written songs of this genre, repeated listens bear more rewards. But the Canadian quartet know exactly what makes a big impact and will draw in first-timers. The stunning chorus to “Black Scorpion” had me grinning instantly, Krista’s roar of ‘BLACK SCORPION!’ being a particularly great hook. The riff that follows is a real ball-buster, making this my favourite track on the EP. The other immediate highlight for me was the middle section of the epic closer “Temple Of The Damned”. You can spruce up your music with complex time signatures, frenetic fretwork and vocal athleticism all you want, but in the end, its hammering riffs like the one at 3:46 that will win the day. Drummer Cory Hofing deserves oodles of praise for his unfaltering blast-beats and uncanny ability to keep a furious double-bass attack rumbling under a half-time groove.
This is seriously admirable work from a relatively new face in the scene. At this point, I wouldn’t like to herd them into one genre and stem their creativity because Lutharö have the potential to be one of the best metal bands to come out of Canada. Unleash The Beast should have any dedicated, open-minded metal fan champing at the bit. By the time the melancholic acoustics die out at the disc’s close, you should be exhausted and satisfied, but salivating for more. Rough around the edges it may be, but that’s exactly what we should learn to love. Unleash The Beast is simply a fantastic EP, chock full of high-quality metal that has permanently etched this band onto my radar.