posted on 9/2006 By:
Letum offers more of what you’d expect from Cold Meat Industry—more nonmetal, mostly instrumental dark ambient soundtrack fodder. Broken is formulaic but reasonably effective dark ambient that might provide an interesting distraction for metal fans. For starters, Letum does well by constructing full compositions—little dead air found here-- that maintain a tone of cinematic tautness. Occasionally, songs or passages therein will utilize clean, sustained chords that communicate an astral mellowness, albeit over some gently buzzing undercurrent, but Letum prefers to mainly stick to densely packed layers of seething, menacing rumbles of blackness. Organ and other keyboard lines frequently fade in and out again repetitively, which typically contributes to the unnerving darkness, but sometimes also conveys a bleak sense of melancholy. The organ, along with the use of occasional chants, classical female vocals, and a bell, give some of the material a religious overtone. This is best exemplified in “Betrayed”, which uses a prominent church organ as accompaniment to a distorted spoken word “sermon” during which the orator asks to be given “something to die for”. Broken remains reasonably listenable for an album of this type, as Letum does a decent job varying textures and approaches. Still, nearly all these songs would work better if they were shortened considerably. Admittedly, this is a common criticism of a genre that often seems to feel that an idea that works well for three minutes is twice as good for six. Instead, the songs, and by extension the album, overstay their purpose. Still those with cash in hand could do worse, and if you’re always in the market for this kind of stuff, Broken might give you just the fix you need.
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