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Lyriel are one of those bands that I can't help but have a bit of a soft spot for. They've got metal, folk and a killer vocal, what's not to like? Their last album was nothing short of mesmerising, which does put a bit of pressure on any follow up but ‘Skin and Bones’ doesn't disappoint. To be honest, on first listen I was left feeling a bit cold but it's definitely an album that's worth a bit of investment time-wise.

The opening track, ‘Numbers’, is a perfect example of what the band is capable of, offering a combination of all the key musical themes that makes the band so special. It's not too over the top but is a gentle introduction to an album full of dynamism and has just the right level of grit, symphony and folk to put the album firmly on the right track. Following that is the anthemic ‘Falling Skies’, which is easily a standout on what is, on the whole, a strong album. There's certainly something to meet most tastes. If you like something heavy, there's something here for you, if you like the poppier side of things, give ‘Dust to Dust’ a whirl. Even if the album as a whole is not particularly to your taste, there should be at least one song that will draw you in.

What gets me about the album, and Lyriel as a whole, is the fact that they don't rely on gimmicks like some other similar bands do. The fact that they're female fronted is insignificant and the folk, death and symphonic elements are used sparingly, as and when required, rather than being their main shtick. ‘Skin and Bones’ is a wonderful example of this, adding enough moments of something a bit different without it becoming overpowering and cliché. The album flows beautifully and offers enough variety in tempo and tone to make it interesting throughout. What it lacks in initial wow factor, it more than makes up for in being able to withstand repeat listens.
AFM Records
Review by Siân Williams
26th Sept 2014
1) Numbers; 2) Falling Skies
3) Skin and Bones; 4) Black and White
5) Days Had Just Begun
6) Your Eyes
7) Dust to Dust
8) Der Weg
9) Astray
10) Worth the Fight
11) Running in Our Blood
12) Dream Within a Dream
13) Black and White (Second Skin Version)
"What it lacks in initial wow factor, it more than makes up for in being able to withstand repeat listens."