Saturday, September 21, 2013

A Eulogy for Löbo

This past summer Portuguese instrumental post metal band Löbo called it a day after nearly three years of silence on the album front, which was an unfortunate end to a long wait. After just two releases and a ‘single’ of sorts, Löbo were easily one of the most intriguing and exciting bands to come out of mainland Europe in years, from this particular vantage point anyway.

A viagem de Löbo chegou ao fim.
Obrigado a todos que participaram e a todos que nos vieram ver.

 “Löbo’s journey came to an end”, and while brief it was quite the journey. 2009’s EP release Älma was a stark listen in every way. The band had gone all out doom metal as was evidenced by the cavernous, and ear shattering, opener of ‘Aqui em baixo a alma mede-se com mãos cheias de pedras’ where a shuddering single note rings out. From there the band would traverse through different plains of dense and dissonant droning doom through to creeping electronics. 

‘Aqui em…’ scratches and claws to a slow build crescendo that’s pummelling in its crushing riffing while second track ‘Carne e Sombra’ is six minutes or so of discomfiting electronics dancing to and fro that bleeds into the funeral doom-like passages of ‘Matei os meus mestres - Silenciei os meus ídolos’, which soon morphs into a slithering almost-grooving riff. Final outing,‘Por fim só. Livre’, starts off in beautiful fashion with glimmering guitars and echoing electronics that are soon disrupted by the coarse hail of doomed out riffs reminiscent of the EP’s opening, which rounds out the record in appropriate fashion. Bleak yet strangely gorgeous and always enthralling is Älma

It made for quite a change from their demo, Dânaca, which was a 16 minute single track effort and was characterised by a more, shall we say, conventional set up in that the song is led by distinct riff and bears a little more in common with Cult of Luna to an extent with dashes of Rorcal and even a flavour of death doom.

After the release of Älma, the band were working on full length material, releasing a new song in 2010 called ‘Nöite’, as something of a teaser of things to come. The track, in many ways, picked up right where Älma left off but with a little more emphasis on their electronic shades. It was an exciting prospect thinking what Löbo could be with the space that an album affords.

Sadly after a couple of stop/starts, the band won’t be releasing anything again but the members have all been involved in various other bands including mathy sludge metallers Monogono and the spacey melodic rock of Savanna.

Photo: Pedro Roque

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