Rolling Through The Universe – Lethe


The arenas of sludge and doom metal are ones that have become ever more crowded, at a considerable rate it seems in the last few years and with a greater air and influence of Prog. In fact, since the likes of Neurosis and possibly even Yob took Prog rock influences into the gritty sound of doom there have been a plethora of like minded acts, most notably with Mastodon who took this thinking and rocketed to the top runs of the metal ladder. Thus it proves the unenviable task for the likes of stalwarts Rolling Through The Universe to make an impact on the scene, even though they show considerable prowess.

The band’s third album Lethe (Hidden Temple) sees Eric Wallace move from bass to second guitar and the introduction of new bassist Leon West and drummer Noah Leen, and with these changes seems to have come a more melancholic tone. Previous album Machines In The Sky (Hidden Temple), despite its overriding doom traits also showed vivid, melodic tinges which gave it an almost uplifting feel, whereas on Lethe these aspects, although still present appear increasingly buried. Instead Lethe focuses more on slower and noticeably heavier riffs and passages; proving more straightforward and perhaps easier to digest, yet still atmospheric.

Over their career Rolling Through The Universe have shown they are more than competent enough a group, but the problem lies in the overcrowding of the genre and making an impact. With Lethe’s more linear feel it’s difficult to see how it will truly stand out from the crowd. Fans of the genre will definitely find plenty to take from this, but sadly nothing they haven’t already encountered numerous times.