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   LANFEAR
The Art Effect
2003
Massacre
http://www.thelanfear.com


rating: 4/5

1. Heresy
2. Stigmatized
3. Traces Of Infinity
4. The Artefact
5. Conscience Inc.
6. Deeper
7. Beneath It All
8. Fortune Lies Within
9. V.o.a.t.
10. The Spell
11. Regression
Lanfear came out of the blue for me. They play a mix of rather typical europower metal and progressive metal. Also some US power metal references are audible here and there. They come from Germany which isn't all that much of a surprise and this is their third album.

The singer of the band, Tobias Althammer, does a very good job. James LaBrie is bound to come to mind when listening to him, although personally I like Althammer's singing even more as he sounds like an improved version of LaBrie. Occasionally he hits some really high notes, which can get a bit annoying. In general I think Althammer's singing is one of the strongest points in Lanfear's outcome.

The band's musical outcome is well in balance between some lightning fast parts as well as slower, calmer breaks. They also have a fair share of tempo changes to offer. The song structures are versatile and there aren't any trivial or filler songs on the album. The production is quite polished, as expected. Had it been a little rougher, a typical happy power metal fan, like myself, would have had an unpleasant surprise in the pants after having heard some of the heavier parts of the album. Now all the instruments create a well balanced wall of sound. Although the music remains melodic all the time, there are a few of those thundering heavy parts that do stand out with their heaviness. The keyboards add a slightly symphonic touch to the outcome. The best song on the album are "The Artefact" that combines beautiful acoustic guitars, atmospheric synth, memorable melodies and a damn catchy chorus and "Fortune Lies Within", a midtempo tune that alternates with heavier and calmer parts with prominent keyboards and again, a mind-blowing chorus. "Traces Of Infinity" and "Conscience Inc." are also very enjoyable.

In general Lanfear balances somewhere in between power and prog metal with this amazing album. Recommended for fans of such bands as Dream Theater and Pagan's Mind.

submitted by Aleksi 28.07.2003

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