Lathliss’ demo debuted on Bandcamp a little over a month ago. Now at first glance, no one could blame you for assuming that Demo I is just more lo-fi USBM fare with programmed drums buried beneath blown-out and incomprehensible riffs. Suffice to say, sometimes it’s good to be completely wrong.
Demo I is four tracks plus an intro of impressively produced, unquestionably killer black metal. Not only are there actual riffs and you can hear them, but they’re catchy, memorable and strident with satanism.
Behind Lathliss stands only two members: Dustin and Rich. Rich plays guitars, Dustin drums, plays keyboards and screams. Dustin says that while he and Rich have both “played in many bands apart and together,” Lathliss is their “first black metal band.”
Dustin says, “we are only concerned with the music. Who we are is irrelevant to the listener.” His answers to my questions are totally candid, which proves his point further. Who they are doesn’t matter, nor do Lathliss go out of their way to ensure that they are anonymous ghouls from another realm. Nah, they’re just two guys from Delaware playing black metal.
Dustin says they formed Lathliss simply because both he and Rich are fans of the genre and wanted to do something different. Before they knew it, they were in deep. “We originally had no plans to add keyboards,” Dustin says, regarding the tasteful use of synth all over Demo I. “However after hearing the songs, we realized it would be a nice addition.”
“Our influences are mostly 90’s black metal,” Dustin says. “Darkthrone, Emperor, Gorgoroth, Dissection, Etc. We’re both fans of 80’s new wave and industrial.” While their lyrics, according to Dustin, deal mostly with the unholy triune of misanthropy, satanism and vampirism
Dustin calls the recording process for Demo I “a learning process, but highly rewarding.” Rich sent him guitar tracks which he then recorded over. While there’s no denying that this is a demo, it is exceptionally produced, especially being self-produced by the band. The drums occasionally get lost in the blizzard, but they hit when they need to—as in the last minute and a half of the “II.” Which track, according to Dustin, best represents the future of Lathliss.
As for the physical manifestations of Demo I, don’t fret because more are coming. Dustin says, “we prefer to not disclose how many demos have been made. We will always press enough for those who want to hear. The repress will be available very soon.” Shirts, too, from what I understand.
Meanwhile, Dustin says Lathliss are “in the process of writing for the next release. Looking forward to the new year.”