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Lava Engine - In Limbo CD (album) cover


Lava Engine


Progressive Metal

3.10 | 2 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
3 stars Two years after their critically acclaimed debut EP, Swedish prog rock/metal band Lava Engine has returned to the scene with a new lineup and a great EP that's sure to appeal to people who've enjoyed their debut. In Limbo features two major changes in Lava Engine's lineup - drummer Christian Karlsson has been replaced by Mick Nordström and bassist Ian Varjanne has been replaced by Simon Dahlström. Lava Engine is one of the few bands in the modern progressive metal scene who's seeking to break new ground rather than hide in the shadows of the genre's leaders, and I have an unending respect for them and their adventurous attitude. There's room for improvement on In Limbo, but that doesn't hide the fact that this is an extremely gifted quartet to keep your eyes on.

Lava Engine plays a style atmospheric progressive rock/metal with clear influences from Porcupine Tree, Pain of Salvation, and softer sounding Opeth (something like their Damnation album). The end result is a pretty unique EP - In Limbo rarely falls into any of the genre clichés. The compositions are generally very strong, with tracks like "Drain Your Soul", "In Limbo", and "Ctrl Z" as highlights. This 30:17 EP never tires - In Limbo is consistent and thoroughly enjoyable all the way through. My main issue here lies in the general lack of truly outstanding moments on In Limbo - all of the music here is good without question, but only a select amount of it can be considered excellent. Hopefully Lava Engine can further develop their already impressive songwriting skills by the time of their next release. They're undoubtedly a talented group, and consistently terrific compositions should only come in time. Lava Engine shows their chops throughout In Limbo, but does so with dignity and without constant technical aerobics.

The production is surprisingly raw, but it leaves a bit to be desired. It's lacking a bit of a "punch" if you ask me.

In Limbo is a highly impressive EP that fans of progressive metal in the vein of Pain of Salvation, Porcupine Tree, and Opeth should adore. I have a few complaints about the release, but it's still a highly enjoyable and promising EP worth 3.5 stars. I love stumbling upon an adventurous young act like this - these guys have some real potential for progressive metal greatness. It'll be interesting to see what the future holds for Lava Engine!

J-Man | 3/5 |


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