The north coast of Northern Ireland is one of the most beautiful places in the world, but it can also be one of the most brutal, especially when lashed by winter storms sweeping across the north Atlantic and into the Irish Sea, and its rocky coastline – characterised by sheer cliff faces alternating with sweeping beaches – is fraught with dangers for unwary sailors unfamiliar with its deceptively tranquil but treacherous waters.
It is from this part of the world from which Lantern For A Gale – the origin of the name should be fairly obvious from the preceding introduction – have emerged, with this debut five track mini album released on Belfast-based Savour Your Scene Records.
Things don’t get off to a promising start, as opener ‘As We Sleep’ is derivative and mundane, the performances from the five piece tight but unexceptional, with the track itself veering more toward metalcore than the purer hardcore that characterises much of the rest of the CD.
‘Inauthentic Selves’ is definitely better, with its crunching riff and mix of raspy and shouted vocals from Paul and the four musicians starting to stretch themselves a bit more. Mid track ‘Interpreting Nothing’ really sees the band starting to step up to the mark, building from a brooding, melodic, almost mellow opening into a hard hitting but melacholic rolling riff.
‘Against Diabolum’, by far the album’s stand-out track, again is quite brooding and melancholic underneath it’s violent surface – reflecting, if you will, the powerful undercurrents that sweep up and down the coastal waters off Antrim and Londonderry: while not soloing per se, the guitar work of Andy and Danny is at its most impressive, hitting with the battering ram effect of a north Atlantic breaker but at the same time sweeping along like a surfer caught in a tidal surge.
‘Punctured Equilibirum’, unfortunately, sees LFAG veering back toward metalcore territory, but nevertheless sees another worthy performance from the two guitarists and, especially, drummer Allan, although its overall effect is somewhat disappointing.
Like labelmates Gacys Threads, LFAG are heavily influenced by Converge: however, the north coast guys lack the cutting edge of their more experience Belfast brethren – but, while they have a lot of catching up to do, this is nevertheless an impressive enough debut and one which definitely will appeal to fans of both traditional hardcore and it’s more modern, melodic, bastard offspring.
A storm-battered 6/10.
• To find out more about Lantern For A Gale, visit
• ‘Lands More Hostile’ is available now on Savour Your Scene Records and can be bought here: .
• Lantern For A Gale play The Warzone Centre in Belfast, supporting US hardcore veterans Tragedy, this coming Wednesday (June 13th).
Live photo by Gary Cummins / All Gone Pop!.