Lyriel - Leverage

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Lyriel's last album – their effective debut for AFM records last year, even though it was a re-release – definitely had some key issues to it. The melodies were often sickly sweet, a little unexciting and far from rocking. It had a good grasp of melody, but not entirely in a good way. So it is a big surprise to see the band bounce back with Leverage, an album that scraps much of what didn't work in Paranoid Circus and delivers a much more satisfying German folk metal sound. The album's opener and also title track feels almost like a mission statement, a big hard rock song with some subtle Celtic leanings and a big anthem of a chorus. Comparisons aren't to be made with other female-fronted metal acts, but rather with Germany's rich heritage of folk metal bands, such as Subway To Sally and In Extremo – except with Jessica Theirjung's much softer, but no less powerful, vocal delivery. There's still some softer material, with The Road Not Taken being the best exemplar of the band's softer side, a bitter-sweet and emotional tune carried mostly by delicate singing and acoustic guitar. The album does lose some steam near its conclusion, but overall Leverage feels like a drastic return to form, far less cloying and most more sincere in its song-writing. A very welcome surprise.

Written by James Donovan
More: 2012, Albums, Female-fronted, Folk Metal, Quick.Play Reviews,

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