Shoegazers rejoice! Lantlôs, the German post-black metal band has long been promising the follow-up to 2014’s hazy masterpiece Melting Sun, and it arrives this summer under the name Wildhund. The album title has been known for quite some time, and band mastermind Markus Siegenhorst has been providing updates on the production since last year, but recently went dark about the process. Most had given up hope on it, but this week Lantlôs returned with the first taste of the new album, “Lake Fantasy”. For those curious if the band would be regressing or progressing, they can rest assured it’s the latter.

From the opening pummel of the drums “Lake Fantasy” is unquestionably the return everyone expected. Siegenhorst’s vocals are more prominent right from the get go, and the speed-metal instrumentals are slightly nuanced compared to anything on Melting Sun, which, while perfect, still had several glacially paced moments. “Lake Fantasy” is faster in its introduction, discarding the drone that lingered previously. Siegenhorst has stated that “Lake Fantasy” depicts a party by the lake, and the music clearly matches that – “Am I here? / Am I right now? / I never felt this this / never felt before.” Wildhund will be about “a vivid, vibrant, and colorful time” of his life, so it makes sense that “Lake Fantasy” would be the rager that it is.

For a band that started out strictly as a black-metal outfit who only wrote music in German, their ascension to this tier of beautiful noisy bliss is impressive and thrilling. Gone are the throat shredding highlights from 2011’s Agape, and in their place are vocal passages that are more welcoming. There’s definitely a feel of 90s shoegaze, like Catherine Wheel and Hum, which is never a bad thing, but the sound is still heavy on “Lake Fantasy”. Much like its predecessor, it pushes everything to a brighter and more luminescent space. It’s clearer, like a shimmering lake reflecting the sunlight. It’s bright, it’s beautiful, it’s a celebration.

Listen to “Lake Fantasy” on streaming platforms or watch the video below.

Wildhund is out July 30 on Prophecy Productions (pre-order/save). You can find Lantlôs on Facebook and Instagram.