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Instrumental post-metal must fill the vocal void. There are a few ways to achieve this: drawing extra attention to the instruments' technicality, limiting choruses and sing-songy moments, or experimenting with unusual/complex structures and obtuse diversions. Usually, bands pick one (or maybe two) approaches here to hone their quality and develop an album-wide technique. In the case of Italy’s Lento, their upcoming fourth full-length Fourth utilizes the entire book. Check out an exclusive stream of the album's first track "A Penchant for Persistency" below.

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"A Penchant for Persistency" introduces itself with dim noise, but it’s a short prelude -- rhythmic pounding soon emerges and morphs into razor-sharp riffing. Throughout the track (and the album), two things happen in parallel: abstract noise wavers in intensity and hard-edged instrumentation chugs along mechanically. "A Penchant for Persistency" also demonstrates Lento's near-absolute lack of subtlety, but not lack of nuance. The track meanders about with no clear destination, and that's sort of the point: to bring you into a trance, to focus you on the immediate here and now.

The remaining nine tracks of Fourth span an incredible palette: from devastating marching riffs to spacey melodies to postmodern soundscapes, all intertwined with fluid/seamless transitions. But the album isn't just a cacophony of ideas; rather, all elements share the same heightened emotional state. Fourth coheres on that "psych" level -- a single wavelength of intensity undulating unusually and unpredictably. The headspace is mellow, but introspective and dynamic. Texture matters, too, but not at the expense of songwriting. Perhaps that is where Lento differs, molding two sometimes opposing philosophies into one powerful expression.

Fourth comes on 10/6 via Consouling Sounds. Follow Lento on Facebook.

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