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Lemur Voice - Insights CD (album) cover

INSIGHTS

Lemur Voice

 

Progressive Metal

3.42 | 34 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Cesar Inca
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Born in Holland and originally bearing the name Aura, the later re-baptized Lemur Voice was a creative quintet that made an excellent, renewing statement in the prog metal scene back in the mid 90s. "Insights" is the result of the fluid combination of rocking energy, cleverly articulated interplaying, exquisite keyboard orchestrations and genuine passion. One major influence in 1992-4 Dream Theater (as it happened with many other 90s prog metal acts), but LV goes beyond that and implements some other influences: neo-prog (fresh vibe and eerie keyboard layers), lots of jazz-rock elements in the rhythm duo's input, old fashioned symphonic melodic sensibility. While bearing such an amount of recognizable musical features, the final result ends up being sufficiently original as to show the band as a talented bunch of writers and not mere copycat of the bands they look up to. The lead vocalist's style and timber sound to me like Tate-meets-Hogarth, while the keyboardist, due to his well crafted harmonies and orchestrated layers, functions as the referential focus around which his instrumentalist companions revolve. The interaction between Coenen and Faber's leads is spectacular, and so is the precision that Tromp ven der Loo use when articulating the complex rhythm patterns in their jazz-tinged manner (as I mentioned before) - great performances for (generally) great compositions and inventive arrangements. The opener is catchy but a bit overlong, since the main motif is not as impressive as many others that will consecutively appear and the performances don't portray the level of energy these guys usually have. Track 2 is the first one to show a hint of the band's strong points: the instrumental 'Akasha Chronicles' is an amazing example of how a band can have its individual members interplay in a delicately integrated set of diverse musical ideas. Awesome. Also the sequence of tracks 3 and 4 is quire impressive to me. 'Celestial Haze' is a beautiful nocturne delivered on piano over eerie string synth layers and vocal adornments added near the end. 'Deep Inside' is a 9+ minute piece that shows LV building a bridge between neo and prog metal and making a statement of meditative introspectiveness from that position - somewhere in the last half a part of 'Celestial Haze' reappears in order to widen the melancholy vibration of the song. 'Alone' is another long track that is quite similar in spirit to 'Celestial Haze', albeit 'Alone' feels more dramatic since its mood and motif shifts feel more intense; besides, this time it is the dual acoustic guitars that take center stage for the softer parts. Among the not-so-long tracks, my personal fave is 'Prime of Passion': the polished ability that Tromp shows for his complex bass lines ands arpeggios is simply awesome, a major asset for this particular song's greatness. 'More of Nothing' and 'Memory Lane' are also great (especially the former, which continues to explore the band's reflective side), although they're not as stunning as 3-4 (I see them as a unit), 6 & 7. All in all, "Insights" is one of those 90s prog metal gems that, hopefully, will not get buried in the past despite the fact that the band broke up after the release of their second album.
Cesar Inca | 4/5 |

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