Album review: Het Laatste Licht – Charnia




We do love a bit of post-metal here at Grim Reader Reviews. The most recent album from Amenra, simply titled, Mass VI, being a real highlight. It is a sometimes traumatic yet often beautiful listening experience and Charnia is no different. Het Laatste Licht is a solitary song, clocking in at just under 40 minutes and it is one that fans of post-metal need to listen to real soon. From the opening atmospherics of Het Laatste Licht, I knew I was locked in for a sombre, melancholic and dark listening experience. I also knew I was onto something really quite special, something that when listened to would take me on a journey. This is a deeply moving piece that is both well-produced and mixed. The band summons a number of emotions within this solitary song leaving you feeling euphoric and deeply moved by its devastating finale.

What makes Charnia stand out for me is the stunning violin and bass incorporated throughout. Swimming gently through this atmospheric behemoth is the violin of Jens Debacker and the double bass provided by Innerwoud. Both musicians show great restraint and feel for their instruments, complementing each other perfectly, weaving delicately throughout the track adding numerous textures and layers to the music. The way in which these instruments are used in the early parts of the song is hauntingly beautiful.

Het Laatste Licht really is a stunning piece of music that builds slowly towards a spectacular finale. As the song moves forward we are joined by other instruments: guitars and drums. A sort of tribal drum pattern begins just after the halfway mark, welcoming the other sounds and instruments into the song. You can definitely feel something building here, a wall of breathtaking sound approaches and this is where fans of Amenra will rejoice. A series of tortured wails soon accompany the vast musical soundscapes that Charnia has created and everything comes together perfectly. This is truly epic post-metal and I adore it. It is crushing, soulful, stirring, delicate, and inescapably huge sounding. This is, without doubt, a must buy for fans of expansive post-rock and metal.



After the release of their critically acclaimed debut album “Dageraad” in 2014, Belgian post-metal group Charnia didn’t exactly sit still and rest on their laurels. They have immediately started crafting a whole new piece of music that would progressively crystalize into ‘Het Laatste Licht’.
Departing from their post-metal debut, the band has been working on more subtle, droney and ambient layers of music. Charnia has brought this piece of music as a work in progress on several occasions, perfecting the album every step along the way. The time is finally here to unveil this remarkable piece of music. The music unravels organically, interweaving hauntingly beautiful melodies and soundscapes, aided by the expert musicianship of Jens Debacker (violin) and Innerwoud (double bass). This fragile piece of work that is reminiscent of the way Godspeed You! Black Emperor or A-Sun Amissa build their enveloping, emotionally gripping music doesn’t let go of its audience, even after the fierce and harrowing finale has passed. This is essential material.



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