(Solitude Productions, 2017)
#FOR FANS OF: Death/Gothic/Doom
Russia has traditionally been a great source for the darkest subgenres of metal, being probably the Russian doom/death/gothic metal scene one of the strongest, if not the strongest one. The Russian band Lorelei is undoubtedly influenced by this scene and though it doesn´t deliver anything original, their debut album 'Gloomy Waves of the Cold Sea' was a solid effort, which helped the band to carve a name in a quite crowded scene. For the curious people the band´s name has an interesting origin. Lorelei is a rock on the eastern bank of the Rhine, which is located near St. Goarshausen, in Germany. This Rock soars some 120 metres above the waterline. In relation to this, Lorelei is also the name of a feminine water spirit, associated with this rock in popular folklore and literature. It is indeed an appropriate name for an underground band. Even though the band was created around 2003 they have released only two albums, the reason behind this apparent inactivity was the constant line-up changes, something which sadly occurs too often in the darkest sub-genres of metal. Thankfully, the band finally found a solid line-up which had made possible to start releasing works at a more decent rate. Anyway, it has taken four years for the band to release a new work, entitled 'Тени октября' (Shadows of October), which should be a step forward for this band. As it has been aforementioned the band’s style is clearly rooted in the doom/death/gothic sound and this new album doesn´t leave behind this genre. The artwork itself is far from being original, though it suits perfectly well the band´s style and lyrics. This album, though I wouldn´t consider it a conceptual work, deals with Autumn, also a classic theme for those sort of bands, mainly because this season fits perfectly well the sense of melancholic atmosphere that doom/death bands try to create. Musically speaking Lorelei´s approach doesn´t differ too much from the classic fundaments of the genre. Their Music´s tempo is slow with pretty heavy guitars and simple drums, while the vocals are very well executed death-esque growls, occasionally accompanied by delicate female vocals which add the gothic touch to their music. The guitars deserve an especial mention as they deliver very mournful melodies, nothing groundbreaking here, but a very solid effort which shines on remarkable songs like the opener “Ya - Severniy Veter...” and the closer “Cantium Angelorum”. This track is probably my favourite one as the melodies are truly touching and express a sincere feeling of sorrow and melancholy, it is indeed an impressive way to end this sophomore work. The vocal delivery is quite solid with Alexey using the classic death metal growlings, while Maria shows us her great operatic voice, making a great contrast in songs like “Morskaya”. The keys are quite minimalistic, altough I personally prefer simple but touching keys over very complex arrangements, which sometimes sound quite empty. This style is all about feelings and though the keys are not absolutely impressive these simple pianos have a relevant role in songs like the previously mentioned one or “I Tiho Vetly Shelestyat”, where they sound better than in any other song. With “Teni Oktyabrya” Lorelei confirms what we were expecting from them. Their sophomore album is a remarkable work of an emotional and melancholic death/doom/gothic metal and a very loyal effort to the genre. This album will be a pleasure for the ears for those fans who want to listen to something classic and far from adventurous experimentations.