Leverage, Lyriel's fourth album, appears to be one of this year's finest folk metal releases and it may finally drag the band right into the spotlight. They damn sure deserve it.
The short, atmospheric intro "When It's Coming To An End" manages to grab our attention and effectively introduces us to the enchanting world of Leverage, but it's the title track that shows us the real face of Lyriel A.D. 2012: yes, they are bolder and heavier than ever before! Fortunately, they don't forget about great melodies, either. As a couple of subsequent tracks prove, mixing powerful guitars and ear-whipping drums with the sounds of cello or violin is something that comes to this band most naturally, and the beautiful voice of lead singer Jessica Thierjung effortlessly bridges the gap between these two musical worlds. Also, Thierjung's singing is just as impressive when she switches from English to German (note the wonderful "Aus der Tiefe") or when it is occasionally supported by the vocals of Linda Laukamp. Not quite as thrilling, however, is the marriage of Thierjung's voice and the rather bland male vocals (by one Thomas Linder Schandmaul) in "Wenn die Engel Fallen", making this track the most disappointing piece on the album. Or should I say: the ONLY disappointing piece on the album. Thankfully, the following two songs, "Side by Side" and "Repentance", swiftly bring the band back on the right track and close the album in style.
Even as I sit and enjoy the sounds of Leverage, I wonder what this band may attempt to do on their next release. And I want to have this non-existent album NOW!
This tells you something about the quality of Leverage, I guess.
Jessica Thierjung: vocals
Linda Laukamp: cello, additional vocals
Joon Laukamp: violin
Oliver Thierjung: guitars
Tim Sonnenstuhl: guitars
Steffen Feldmann: bass
Marcus Fidorra: drums & percussion
1. When It's Coming To An End
4. Voices in My Head
5. The Road Not Taken
6. White Lily
7. Aus der Tiefe
8. Wenn die Engel Fallen
9. Side by Side
Added: August 15th 2012
Reviewer: Bartek Paszylk
Related Link: Band Website
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Posted by Michael Popke, SoT Staff Writer on 2012-08-15 16:22:09
Although the female-fronted Lyriel has evolved from playing folk metal to placing a greater emphasis on symphonic metal, traces of the German band's roots can still be heard throughout the short (10 melodically intense songs in less than 35 minutes) fourth album Leverage via cello and violin. Gentle ballad "The Road Not Taken" (based on Robert Frost's poem and set to Oliver Thierjung's delicate arrangement) mingles with heavier, more majestic tracks such as "Aus der Tiefe" and "Voices in the My Head" — making it easy to understand why band members still describe Lyriel's sound as "dark romantic Celtic rock." Comparisons to Blackmore's Night wouldn't be out of place, as lovely vocalist Jessica Thierjung could go face to face with Candice Night anytime.
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