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Neo-Prog • United Kingdom

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Lorien biography
Founded in Aylesbury, UK in 1989 - Disbanded in 1995

English neo-prog band who mixes elements of YES, RUSH, MARILLION, GENESIS and PINK FLOYD. Initially formed in 1989 by writing duo Mark McLeod on keyboards and Darren Newitt on guitar, the band only became a quintet in 1993 after an ad in Melody Maker and several screenings resulted in the hiring of vocalist/guitarist Sean FILKINS (ex-SOMA). Filkins, in turn, recommended his SOMA buddy, drummer Phillip Legende who joined in; bass player Geoff Curtis completed the line-up.

With its Tolkien connotation, their name is a give-away to their style as their highly melodic album "Children's Games", released in 1994, is very GENESIS-like, circa "Wind and Wuthering", with vocals reminiscent of Jon Anderson's and Nick Barrett's. Among others, the CD features a 19-minute track with PENDRAGON-like piano passages, some slow build-ups that ease into heavy progressive moments; it also treats the listener with various tempo changes and impressive guitar solos, intros and outros. The mix is a bit weak but the compositions are interesting and the musicianship fairly impressive.

Recommended to GENESIS fans of the 1976-80 era.

: : : Lise (HIBOU), CANADA : : :

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3.81 | 55 ratings
Children's Games

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LORIEN Reviews

Showing last 10 reviews only
 Children's Games by LORIEN album cover Studio Album, 1994
3.81 | 55 ratings

Children's Games
Lorien Neo-Prog

Review by apps79
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

3 stars One-shot British Prog band, which featured Sean Filkins on vocals and guitar.Filkins though was not among the original members of the band, which started in late-80's by keyboardist Mark McLeod and guitarist Darren Newitt.Filkins joined the band around 1992/93, at a time when he was a member of Space Rockers Soma, and brought along his bandmate drummer Phillip Legende.Geoff Curtis on bass completed the line-up, which recorded Lorien's sole album ''Children's games'', released in 1994 on SI Music.

The truth is that Lorien had not much to offer to the already grown British Neo Prog scene and their style was extremely influenced by MARILLION with some JADIS sensibilities in some vocal and a few guitar drives.So you will assume that skipping this album would not be a crime, in case you don't Lorien have at least some great musicianship, melodious textures and nostalgic 80's vibes to offer.Keyboard work appears to be much influenced by MARILLION's MARK KELLY and the guitar distortions are also inspired by the work of the British Neo pioneers, not to mention the FISH-like vocals of Filkins.Despite the presence of two guitarists, the sound is rather balanced and atmospheric with no particular heavier overtones, relying mostly on the poetic lyrics, the GENESIS/PINK FLOYD-ian solos and the dreamy keyboard moves of McLeod.As MARILLION did back in the 80's, the tracks contain different climates and segments with energetic, aggressive, romantic and melodic splits, delivered by the band in tight offerings with discreet symphonic keyboard orchestrations.The title track is a very ambitious effort by Lorian on non-interrupting 20 minutes of Prog music, scanning the Neo Prog fundamentals: A deep lyricism, melodic passages, powerful rhythms and darker soundscapes with a fantastic ending solo, MARILLION's ghost is all over the place again.

Lorien visited German and Czech Republic for the promotion of the album, but Filkins left the band soon after.This was the beginning of the end for the British band, its only other recorded document being on a cover of E.L.P.'s ''Tarkus'' on the 98' tribute album ''Fanfare for the pirates''.

MARILLION-esque Neo Prog, totally unoriginal, but composed and played with a fair amount of inspiration and passion.Nice melodies and atmospheres throughout.Recommended.

 Children's Games by LORIEN album cover Studio Album, 1994
3.81 | 55 ratings

Children's Games
Lorien Neo-Prog

Review by RJN

4 stars I have only recently heard this very hard to find album, Children's Games by the band Lorien. And I have to tell you that I was very impressed to say the least. This album features Sean Filkins who was the lead singer in Big Big Train for a couple of albums and who of course just released the fantastic solo album War and Peace & Other Short Stories, which is one of the top albums of 2011 by the way.And also Darren Newitt who plays lead guitar on Sean's solo effort, a fine guitar player he is. But this review is about the Lorien album, this is neo prog done at a very high level, well crafted tunes here with all of the ingredients that make an album neo, symphonic prog with lots of keyboards and guitars, very tight rhythm section and excellent lead vocals with really good lyrics. I do not see this as being easy to find, I was very lucky to get a copy of it,it really should be reissued, but if you can find it snap it up, if you are a fan of well done neo prog this album is for you.
 Children's Games by LORIEN album cover Studio Album, 1994
3.81 | 55 ratings

Children's Games
Lorien Neo-Prog

Review by Prog-jester
Prog Reviewer


Again one might wonder why I gave 5 stars. Incomparable to Essentials like GENESIS or KC early albums, LORIEN's one is another EXCELLENT example of Neo-prg and it's truly deserves to be rated as Masterpiece of the Genre. Imagine early MARILLION mixed with Polish COLLAGE and featuring JON ANDERSON (of YES) on vocals (and lyrics)!!! Awesome!

Opener is powerful Neo-track in IQ manner; "Lost for Words" is a good ballad with typical YESy coda; "Losing It" is a 9-min long mini-epic a-la "Forgotten Sons"; "The Divide" is another YESy tune, very good radio-ballad. "Children's Games", a title-sake 19- min long epic, can serve as an example of good and pathetic Neo-Prog in COLLAGE's "In your Eyes" or RED SAND "Mirror of Insanity" vein. SIMPLY FLAWLESS! Filled with dozens of moods and themes changing, it alone makes CD worthy of buying! Album ends with "Love is", a simple keys-guitar song, very romantic and sincere.

EXTREMELY RECOMMENDED to fans of MARILLION, COLLAGE, RED SAND, CLEPSYDRA and YES. Also every Neo fan must put this item into his wishlist. This is not just "another one...", this is a True Neo Gem and it's a Must !!!

 Children's Games by LORIEN album cover Studio Album, 1994
3.81 | 55 ratings

Children's Games
Lorien Neo-Prog

Review by Tailscent

4 stars Wow, this is a rare gem indeed. Jon Anderson (YES) goes neoprog! :D Or that's what it sounds like, anyway. This is a small band from the UK, that only released one album on the now-dead Dutch SI label. I was really really lucky to get my paws on a copy, and it wasn't even a bad purchase at all. In fact, this is good music.

I wouldn't know what to compare this band to, as I'm hearing a great mix of all kinds of semi-familiar sounds. "Children's Games" is the album's epic, and it's probably the best track on the album, though I'm growing fond of "Hold The Key" as well.

Really, the chance is small, but if you ever get an opportunity to get your paws on this album, I assure you it's well worth your money, even if you're not a fan of the particular sub-genre. They should really re-issue this one. It deserves at least that.

Yours, Tailscent

Thanks to ProgLucky for the artist addition. and to Quinino for the last updates

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