Sunday, November 16, 2014

Lyriel Album Review

When I opened the press release for Lyriel’s Skin and Bones album I was initially turned off by the words “Gothic Metal”.  Not being a particular fan of this category, only dabbling in a little bit here and there by accident, might have been some of the reasons that I had never heard of Lyriel.  The female fronted band hail from Germany and Skin and Bones, available November 4, 2014, is their fifth effort.

Skin and Bones begins with the grinding power metal like opening riffs of “Numbers” before the violin kicks in its assistance.  With a bit of a Celtic flare to the sound Jessica Thierjung’s soft vocals soar like the tones of an angel.  Definitely a symphonic feel mixed with classic power metal create an enjoyable listen.  “Falling Skies” begins with more larger than life excellent guitar riffs before the violin and cello strings chime in again.  Linda Laukamp wields the cello, while the ladies are backed up by bassist Oliver Thierjung, violinist Joon Laukamp, guitarist Tim Sonnenstuhl and drummer Markus Fidorra.  The title track, “Skin and Bones”, up next, powers things in the same tempo changing vein along to “Black and White”.  The slower paced “Black and White” sees vocalist Jessica in a duet with the gravelly tones of Christian Alvestam (ex-Scar Symetry, Solution .45) which is another refreshing change to keep your interest in the record.  “Days Had Just Begun” starts off as a tender slow ballad before the band kicks in for the chorus.  Without going into each of the thirteen tracks on Skin and Bones, some of the highlights for the rest of the album are the foreign language “Der Weg” and the upbeat numbers "Worth the Fight" and "Running In Our Blood".

 The only track that I can definitely do without is the abysmal ballad "Astray", but remember I'm far from an enjoyer of the slower fare.
Lyriel - photo taken from record promotion press kit
This release could certainly do with some fantastic cover art as an upgrade to the nondescript boringness that the band has chosen to adorn the record.  Despite that there is definitely a unique sound to this band and album, something different and quite refreshing actually.  Check out the official video for the lead track, "Numbers".
The Meister

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