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Lyriel - 'Leverage' http://rocktopia.co.uk/media/reviews/photos/thumbnail/200x200s/52/4b/f1/2247_lyrielleverage_1338832855.jpg Hot

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A glorious mix of solid crushing hard rock riffs and Celtic / gothic influences.

Lyriel is a seven piece gothic/folk rock band from Germany. Their debut ‘Prisonworld’ came out on an independent label in 2005 and was followed the next year by ‘Autumntales’. The third release ‘Paranoid Circus’ came out in 2009 after Lyriel had signed to the London based Femme Metal label. The band has since been snapped up by AFM Records to release their fourth album ‘Leverage’, and thery have also re-released ‘Paranoid Circus’.

The first main song is the title track which is a straight up commercial rocker with a deep and crunchy riff. The chorus is amazingly catchy and harmonic affair with keys as well as guitar. Also on the guitar-focused side there’s ‘Voices In My Head’ which starts out like a death metal monster with a humongous riff and death growls. The verse comes down several notches before ripping into the most infectious harmonic chorus. ‘White Lily’ sits more in the heavy rock category with another pounding riff fuelling the song along. A soft delicate opening precedes the galloping progression in the verse which flows into another seriously memorable chorus. On the folk-fuelled side, ‘Parting’ opens with some grinding guitar and vibrant Celtic violin with this vibe carrying on throughout the track and jig like chorus. ‘Aud Der Tiefe’ is also driven as much by the violin as the guitar and finds them both duelling away with an especially frantic melody from the violin. ‘Wenn Die Engel Fallen’ is a highly emotional power ballad and the other song with German lyrics. This is a heartfelt number and features a duet between Jessica Thierjung and Thomas Lindner from Schandmaul. Another ballad is ‘The Road Not Taken’ which is an amazingly soft and mellow track with picked notes on the guitar, passionate violin and the most delicate vocals from Thierjung. That is until the song explodes with a ripping progression to close out…

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This new album from Lyriel is simply wonderful. Heaviness wise ‘Leverage’ sits between heavy rock and melodic/symphonic metal. Their earlier sound has a slightly stronger folk element to it whereas this is more guitar-oriented. There are many things that stand out but the most obvious is the wonderful crisp clear and powerful vocals from Jessica Thierjung. Whilst she doesn’t have an operatic voice such as Turunen, Simmons or Keller, she has more than enough range and varying styles to front such chord driven music. Musically the riffs are played with force and gusto as well as ability with varying compositions throughout and some stellar fret work from Oliver Thierjung. The whole package is topped off with a fresh, clean and extremely polished production. The one downside of this album is there simply isn’t enough of it. With only nine actual songs and none over 5 minutes there could be an argument for some extended endings or a couple more tracks.

That aside ‘Leverage’ is a glorious mix of solid crushing hard rock riffs and Celtic / gothic influences which is well worth investigation.

Dave Scott

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