In the realms of female-fronted Metal, most of the bands fall into one of three categories: Goth Metal, Power Metal or Folk Metal. Germany’s Lyriel is categorized as Folk Metal, but my guess is that this categorization is from their earlier material. Leverage is more along the lines of Goth Metal but with Folk Metal flourishes. Their violin player gets plenty of time, but this album has more in common with Lacuna Coil than it does with Turisas. Since this is my first exposure to Lyriel, I can’t tell if the shift towards this sound was gradual or if it is vastly different from their last album. The songs themselves are not bad, but if you listen to other bands in the Goth Metal genre (particularly the other female-fronted bands), they come off as being generic. By adding the Goth Metal stuff into their music, Lyriel isn’t becoming more distinctive, they’re actually becoming more plain. It’s marginally better than being too “out there,” but at the same time, nobody is ever going to look back on this as being their best work. I did like the music on this album but nothing here is groundbreakingly different. I would classify the music as being unadventurous more than anything else. The idea of fusing Goth Metal with Folk Metal sounds good on paper, but the actual execution didn’t produce a result that was greater than the sum of its parts. Instead of taking the Goth Metal sound, I would have tried to take some of the Goth Metal atmosphere or feeling instead. Dark, mournful atmosphere in Folk Metal is a rare thing. I think Lyriel would have benefitted from that far more than trying to be Evanescence or Lacuna Coil.
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