Released By : Self-Released
Genre : Epic Fantasy Metal
Link : http://lorenguard.com/
Christopher Cruz – Guitars
Alec Biccum – Keyboards
David Schneider – Guitars
Robb Graves – Vocals
Adam Sadler – Bass
Bradley Sadler – Drums
Raleigh Barret – Narration & Vocals
01. Eve Of Corruption
02. Upon The Burning Isles
04. Black Sails And Phoenix Flames
05. Secrets Of The Spire : i – Behind Silver Walls, ii – Myriad’s Pact, iii – Flight Of The Luminary
06. Wrath Divine
08. The Prince And The Pariah
10. Hands Of Chaos
Listen up readers!… I think I just may well have discovered the best and most worthy for success unsigned band going around in today’s heavy metal scene. LORENGUARD may not yet be a household name, but if their near-perfect debut is anything to go by, this band should be flying along at the top of the food chain very soon.
The band’s debut album EVE OF CORRUPTION (THE DAYS OF ASTASIA : PART 1), as you imagine from the title, an epic concept album which is actually the first part of a planned series, which will not only continue on in the band’s future releases, but also come to life as a fully realized set of accompanying novels, the first of which is actually due for completion early 2012. The fantasy based storyline is something I won’t spoil at all here in this review, just trust me when I say it’s one of the more inventive, yet cohesive and followable tales I have had the pleasure of delving in to for a long time.
Musically, this album doesn’t attempt to re-invent the wheel, or go out on a tangent but sometimes it really doesn’t matter if it’s done well, and this album certainly falls under that banner. The symphonic elements are done with much class, and while they certainly add to the feel of the album they never intrude to the point where the songs end up in the background. I guess this is aided by the stellar production job done here, where aurally it is one of the best sounding self-funded records you’ll likely ever hear. The guitar work is excellent, and some pretty mean solos do a good job in keeping the longer songs interesting. The vocals here are mostly fantastic too, with a great standard power metal feel, and a few wild screams and growls and even the odd female contribution there is always something driving the narrative forward and always something making sure it still feel like a music album rather than just a good story.
I’m not going to pick favourite tracks here, because EVE OF CORRUPTION is definitely one of those albums you need to listen through cover to cover each time. It took me a few listen throughs to get the overall vibe of the story, but once it all started to sink in I just wanted to listen to it again and again. Actually this album has slowed down my reviewing workload over the last couple of weeks because I just haven’t wanted to take it out of the stereo.
The one last thing I want to make a special mention of is the surprising amount of effort LORENGUARD has gone to with the physical side of their product. Most self-funded debuts I receive these days are cheaply put together and produced badly, but everything about this album is as good as anything released on a major label. The digipak packaging is made out of really high quality, extra glossy material, the artwork throughout is professional and looks great, the lyrics booklet has been created with more care that most records these days, and features great artwork on basically each page. Now I’m not saying I’m biased toward what I would rate an album based on the effort of the physical product, after all some bands have more money and industry contacts than others. But what it does do when you put this sort of effort in, well, it makes people notice, and while I had a handful of albums above this one on the pile, I couldn’t help but grab it out and start getting into it.
Symphonic Power Metal fans should be getting a copy of this album immediately, and any fans of epic fantasy metal of any description should love it as well. If my Best Metal of 2011 list hadn’t already been officially closed, EVE OF CORRUPTION would have certainly cemented itself a place in my top ten. I’m chomping it the bit to get my hands on a copy of the upcoming novel, and already can’t wait for the follow-up album. Surely though, it will be on a record label… Bands with as much class as these guys shouldn’t be unsigned in this day and age.
Written By ZeeZee