Monday, April 15, 2024

Lutharo find the path to Euphoria

Since their formation in 2014, Lutharo have been taking the metal world by storm and their 2021 debut record Hiraeth received a warm reception from critics. Fast forward three years and they’ve returned with Chasing Euphoria, one of the most hotly anticipated melodic death metal albums of 2024 as they continue to hit new heights.

In the same way that James Bond’s Quantum of Solace gradually builds in intensity where all looks relatively peaceful prior to the chase in the opening scene, ‘Gates of Enchantment’ is no different. Starting off as a thunderstorm soundtrack before switching to a dramatic orchestral piece, it’s a nail-biting wait like a stunt plane going on a 90-degree ascent before shooting downwards, doing the mother of all unpredictable somersaults. ‘Reaper’s Call’ acts as the follow-up track where all the fast-paced action starts and sets the tone for Chasing Euphoria, containing hyper-aggressive energy from the onset with savage drumming, epic riffs and explosive vocals.

A major highlight of this record is Krista’s versatility as a singer. She’s an amicable figure but a mean beast if you get on the wrong side of her musically speaking. ‘Time to Rise’ is a concrete example where just like a chameleon suddenly changing colours, she can do it with her voice technique and dynamics, adapting to every transition in a song ranging from fry screams to guttural growls and soaring falsettos. Victor Bucor on guitars puts competitors to the sword as his magical skills stand out brilliantly. He knows just what type of solo to do and matches its quality with its length which is incredibly hard to master without sounding untidy. Rather than leaving a song crying out for a long and complicated solo, Victor does it justice with picture-perfect shredding and pinch harmonics. On drums, Cory Hoffing makes full use of his kit, displaying great levels of endurance in his double kick and precision in sustaining blast beats for long periods of time.

Although Lutharo’s style is primarily melodic death metal, they aren’t afraid to chuck in an exciting mixture of different subgenres such as symphonic power metal through the heavy emphasis on strings, thrash guitar tones and traditional heavy metal melodies. The end result is an exhilarating experience where a variety of emotions can all be evoked in just one tune, leading to a sense of mystery as to where you will be taken next.

The band’s album description matches the sound of this record and the listener’s expectations “an impressive blend of musical styles and technical prowess”. At no point does Chasing Euphoria show any sign of fatigue as the richness and variation leaves fans craving for more. It doesn’t all have to be 200bpm to be entertaining because the slower tunes are equally as enjoyable with highly contagious riffs guaranteed to make you reach for an ice pack after headbanging nonstop. ‘Freedom of the Night’ is the longest track and closes the album on a cliffhanger like the final fight between the hero and the villain, indicating that a sequel could be on the way with even more brutal material.

‘Time to Rise’ covers the issues of childhood trauma, being forced to grow up too fast and how it haunts us later in life “This nightmare that you reap, Was never yours to keep, This anguish never yours.” ‘Born to Ride’ is filmed at a go-kart track where band members race each other in Mario Kart style, cheating to win while one of them retires to flirt only to get rejected and another crashes out and goes for a swim. While this is portrayed as an odd, laughable comedy, it actually reiterates the meaning of resilience as life is full of challenges to bring you down and if you don’t have the will to fight back, making sacrifices is pointless “This world will eat you alive, So if you’re not made of sacrifice, Then step aside”.  

Lutharo have taken a giant leap in their evolution and in this case, the risks have brought rewards as Chasing Euphoria is a major indication that this rapidly growing talented group from Ontario are only just getting started on the road to victory.

Chasing Euphoria comes out on March 15th 2024 via Atomic Fire Records.

Pedro Felippe
Pedro Felippe
Metalhead since the stone age. Always bash the crap out of my drum kit and am an avid gig goer. I massively identify myself within the metal community as the sense of belonging is unrivalled.

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Since their formation in 2014, Lutharo have been taking the metal world by storm and their 2021 debut record Hiraeth received a warm reception from critics. Fast forward three years and they’ve returned with Chasing Euphoria, one of the most hotly anticipated melodic death...Lutharo find the path to Euphoria