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Lemur Voice - Divided CD (album) cover

DIVIDED

Lemur Voice

 

Progressive Metal

3.88 | 21 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

The T
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars It's a bit of an irony that, what ultimately killed the lemur was its voice.

I really don't know the reason behind the Dutch band's disappearance from the music world. But if the reason has anything to do with the band never getting a good record deal or never becoming famous at least within the progressive-metal community, I think the mediocre vocals of its singer have a lot to do with it.

The worst thing about the demise of LEMUR VOICE is that, actually, they were starting to become a truly competent and original prog-metal band. Here we had a group of musicians of the highest talent. An excellent drummer who was also the main lyrics writer for the outfit; a very skilled guitarist who was showing signs of extreme originality, with very unique riffs and ideas; a skilled bassist who played very interesting bass lines; a talented keyboardist who matched the abilities of the rest of the band. All of them were outstanding musicians, and that fact was starting to finally show in "Divided."

"Insights", the band's previous album, was interesting musically but failed to impress this listener with its lack of memorable songs and originality. LEMUR VOICE was very close to a DREAM THEATER clone in that record. But in "Divided", we can hear much more original music. While the influences are still there, there is a new, fresh sound that permeates the disc, with grunge and 70's-hard-rock overtones that add to the experience. The solos are better, the riffs and licks are way better. The songs have more interesting structures and everything seems to start to fall into place. The band manages to create songs that, though not immediately accessible, are much more memorable than some of the bland tracks in their debut. Just take a look at the excellent title-track or the very good "New Yanini" and you'll hear hints of greatness. The band even manages to pull out a decent (if a little awkward, especially in the jazz-styled chorus) Michael Jackson cover! (Admittedly, of one of the pop legend's best songs, Beat It).

But lemurs can't sing. At least in nature they usually can't. And nowhere can one find better evidence to support that statement than in this album. If in "Insights" the vocals were slightly annoying, here in "Divided" they border on the atrocious. Of course, there is a reason: in the debut, the music was weak, therefore the vocals were just another weak element; but here, with much better sounds, the awful vocals fall so far behind the music in terms of quality that the contrast is too high and the image gets much more distorted. Van Der Loo's voice is too high, but that's not the biggest problem. It's too energy- less, too dead. It would seem that the singer was really bored recording this album because he really appears to be singing with absolute no conviction, no strength, no desire to reach anything but the moment when he could walk out of the studio.

And that's what kills this album in the end. The rating would have been higher if the vocals matched the quality of the music (I would go so far as to say that with an excellent singer this record could've gotten a 5 from me). But with what we have, "Divided" is just a tad above its predecessor, and it gets a 3.

This band doesn't exist anymore. And when one hears the vocalist singing, one stops wondering why...

The T | 3/5 |

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