Albums and food always have so much in common. Just as some sandwiches should be left open-faced, some EPs should be singles and some albums should be EPs. This latest album won't leave the listener ravenously starving, but it also doesn't play like a full meal.
Just as hanging out with interesting people doesn't necessarily make a person interesting, making music in an experimental genre doesn't, by default, make the music experimental. Only the second of the album's three untitled tracks stands out as a real exploration of sound. It opens up with distant bells which gradually expand into prayer and meditation. It is virtually impossible not to picture the arrival of light. It is almost as if permafrost settles on a town each evening, relying on the vibrations of LAIHA to reanimate its sleeping giants—the track holds true summoning power and is superb.
The other songs don't fare quite as well, though for an album named after the first documented pandemic, perhaps they shouldn't. But is it a foray into the philosophy of disease or merely grimness for grimness' sake? This is something that could be debated, though after repeat listening I would argue the former. It is, after all, far more common for evil to sandwich goodness than the other way around.
With that thinking in mind, maybe this album shouldn't be a single. The lumps must be taken and they make the brief periods of smooth sailing really stand out. 6/10 -- Chad Parsons (7 October, 2009)