Not nearly often enough does Asia get the metal representation it deserves. While the occasional blog thread or anomaly like Transcending Obscurity bring at least a little bit of attention to that wildly underground world, there’s so much unknown glory to be had that the vast majority of us never hear since we’re too preoccupied by the underground of North American or European bands to look to the East for all that it offers. From Black Kirin to Rudra to Demogorgon and much further beyond, Asia has so much to offer. Laang is still incredibly new by all accounts, but one listen to their new opus will surely blow the pants off of any and all doubters.
There’s nothing quite like half-stumbling into a record with the simple goal to hear what it has in store with no expectations whatsoever only to be truly impressed by all that’s brought forward with every piece of information about the band only making that discovery sweeter by the minute. To listen to what Laang has brought forward for their sophomore full-length record is to immerse yourself in a truly spectacular display of atmospheric black metal that’s leagues ahead of what many of us may expect from any band out of the underground but especially one like this that has only been around for a scant three years before delivering this absolute marvel. The whole of “Xinteng” (translates into “Cold” which is extremely fitting) is one that covers so much of the spectrum that the style has ever brought to the table with Laang proving themselves to be far more than just capable at delivering to us an unhinged, energetic brand of aggression that contrasts beautifully with the atmosphere that chooses only the most premium of moments to initiate, providing the listener with a truly quality experience filled with surprises that truly make this creation something to behold. A single listen isn’t nearly enough to absorb all that Laang has brought forth here with virtually every aspect elevating the album as a whole to a level that many can only hope to ever achieve, and I cannot help but feel this is just the beginning of real glory that we’re to see come from this immensely promising Taiwanese act.
I will always stand by my claim that the Asian metal scene is just as fanatic and fascinating as the more commonly tread underground of those found more to the West, but it’s with bands like Laang that I can sit here knowing damn well that those who put in the work to find excellence will find it wherever there’s metal to be had. In every way, “Xinteng” delivers a performance that cannot be denied for all that it brings to the table and it’s only after immersing myself in this glory for hours that I can confidently say that this is a release that must be and demands to be heard.
“Xinteng” releases on September 30th!
LISTEN to “Xinteng” on Bandcamp here, or via YouTube below.
LIKE Laang on Facebook here.