Published Oct 14, 2015You could assume many things about Brooklyn's So Hideous from their moniker alone, but you'd most likely be wrong. Laurestine is a concept album about a man's journey between death and the afterlife, guided all the while by a mysterious woman who shares the album's namesake. It's an ambitious enough concept for any sophomore release, but So Hideous actually manage to execute it well.
While the subject matter is certainly grim, Laurestine is strikingly beautiful — almost featherlike in its lightness. Balancing raw and emotive black metal and orchestral arrangements provided by a band of over 30 musicians, the listener is made to feel the burden of the character's journey. The rhythmic changes and progressions, courtesy of drummer Danny Moncada, helps keep the album interesting when it might otherwise threaten to topple under the weight of its own grandiose nature.
In the end, So Hideous take the listener on a journey through death while demonstrating the beauty and inherent to life's harrowing final chapter. It's a challenging listen, but you never feel trapped beneath it, which is key to Laurestine's greatness.
There is beauty to be found in all things. Death, for one — and sometimes, even black metal. (Prosthetic Records)