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Within about three seconds of the first “proper” track, ‘Leverage’, they immediately captured my imagination and something that stark doesn’t come along very often. There’s a certain expectation of the sound you expect from a contemporary female-fronted metal band and Lyriel have wiped the slate clean and decided not to conform to any stereotype or expectation – and it works wonderfully in their favour. Even if ‘Leverage’ doesn’t tickle your fancy as much as it did mine, you don’t have to wait long before they try something completely different. While ‘Leverage’ is a high quality powerful metal song with some symphonic trills, the following track, ‘Parting’, is out and out Celtic rock. Then they move on to death growls and heavy guitar riffs and a generally darker sound. Then a ballad. It’s nothing if not diverse.

The collaboration with Thomas Lindner of Schandmaul fame on ‘Wenn die Engel Fallen’ is nothing short of beautiful and it’s a prime example of how Jessica’s voice is so pure, down-to-earth and without the pomp you get with certain female metal singers that it’s almost impossible to not be at least somewhat endeared to her. The album is so unique and diverse that it’s almost impossible to compare to any other artist or even to pigeonhole into a genre and that’s probably one of the biggest compliments you can give a band. Certain tracks lean more towards folk, some are more straight-up “classic rock” and some have more gothic leanings but it doesn’t sound at all disjointed and is a solid and consistent piece of work throughout. There’s also not one track that stands out as being the strongest as it’s probably the one you’re listening to at the time.

While the album was incredible on first listen, it remained equally as captivating on subsequent plays and there’s a lot of musical depth going on throughout that almost demands multiple listens. I don’t believe that any album is flawless but it’s difficult to think of much criticism for this, except for the intro track but, then again, I’m not really a fan of intro tracks at the best of times. Basically, it’s jaw droppingly good. It might be a bit early to start talking about the “album of the year” but this could be a serious contender for the title.
AFM Records
Review by Siân Williams
27th Feb 2012
1) Intro
2) Leverage
3) Parting
4) Voices in My Head
5) The Road Not Taken
6) White Lilly
7) Aus der Tiefe
8) Wenn die Engel fallen
9) Side By Side
10) Repentance
"It might be a bit early to start talking about the “album of the year” but this could be a serious contender for the title."