|Lyriel - 'Paranoid Circus' (Whiterock Records)|
|Written by Russ P|
|Saturday, 06 February 2010 10:11|
I'm really sorry, but this just isn't going to end well. In fact stop reading. Now!!!! As, it's not going to start well either.
The clues are all there from the off. The song titles: 'The Feather In The Wind', 'Elderberry And Lavender', 'Foeman's Bride' and 'The Wheel Of Fortuna'. The long diaphanous billowy dresses, and pre-raphaelite hair? Can you hear the folk? Can you see the Celtic knots? These images whizzing around in my head were all I really needed to make my decision regarding whether I was going to like this album or not.
But hang on a minute here, despite all these tell tale signs I said to myself "forget all that and just listen". You never know, they could give Evanescence a run for their money ahead of their new album due later this year. And indeed, all the elements are there, enchanting female vocals set against dark and heavy riffing, but something doesn't quite gel for me. The production is a little too loose, boomy and reverb heavy. While making the record sound big and atmospheric it also loses some cohesiveness and power in the process. It's an uneasy mix for me and I find myself wishing, on songs like 'The Wolf', that it was full on folk stripped down and unplugged rather than a fight between the vocals and the distorted guitars. All the same, if you're in the mood for an afternoon of jousting then 'So Long' should serve you well setting the tempo for the canter. Medieval re-enactment hobbyists take note.
Best tracks on the album for me are 'The Regret', which has a pleasing Pat Benatar-esque melody, and 'Paranoid Circus' which salvages itself from a overly complicated and disorientating pre-chorus into a satisfyingly melodic chorus. But again, with the latter, I find myself daydreaming and craving a stripped down version with full choir and acoustic accompaniment.
I'm sure that die-hard Deep Purple fans would love this album. And by Deep Purple I mean Rainbow. And by Rainbow I mean Blackmore's Night.