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Lanfear - The Art Effect CD (album) cover




Progressive Metal

4.00 | 9 ratings

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Prog Metal and Heavy Prog Teams
4 stars Lanfear is a relatively unknown power/prog metal band from Germany that has received a few very positive critics for its work but still remains in the so-called "underground" scene. The band manages to build on the long tradition of the German power metal school, adding interesting progressive metal elements without resembling directly to any of the widely-known establishers of the genre. Rather than following the more established route of titans such as Helloween and Blind Guardian, Lanfear tend to employ a more straightforward approach, closer to the school of Heaven's Gate.

One of the most valuable assets of the band on this album is Tobias Althammer that manages to shift from catchy, deep to high-pitched vocals with great effectiveness, providing a multi-dimensional range of moods. With the exception of two tracks written by keyboardist Richie Seibel, Markus Ullrich is the man for all compositions. This is obvious from the riff-oriented concept of the album; either being fast or mid-tempo, Ullrich delivers exceptional power metal riffs. Variety between tempos makes this album interesting and quite different from modern-day power/prog influenced bands. The great melodic refrains resemble to other promising bands of the genre such as Labyrinth and Manticora. It is also interesting to observe some more "American"-style influences such as Evergrey, Conception and Queensryche.

Only a single moment (Fortune Lies Within) does not live up to the standard that the rest of the album sets, but this is not enough to affect the solid performance and high quality of The Art Effect. Keyboards have a more accompanying rather than leading role, and this has probably worked out well for the resulting sound. The first half of the album is somewhat stronger and peaks at the great melodies of Conscience Inc.. Other highlights are the Evergrey-like Stigmatized and the adventurous and melodic The Artefact.

An album that generally keeps away from the often "cheesy", bombastic atmosphere of Euro-power/prog, The Art Effect is certainly worth the attention of prog metal listeners that are keen on modern riff-oriented heavy power in the vein of Labyrinth or Evergrey. A solid 4(-) rating is well-deserved for an album from which I could not have any serious complaints.

aapatsos | 4/5 |


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