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Lyriel - 'Skin And Bones' http://rocktopia.co.uk/media/reviews/photos/thumbnail/200x200s/ca/17/80/lyriel-skin-and-bones-81-1423424954.jpg Hot

Added by Central Electronic Brain     February 08, 2015    
 
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A superb album that catapults Lyriel into the top tier of Female-Fronted Metal.

I first came across Lyriel when I reviewed their previous release 'Leverage' back in issue #51. I found it a "wonderful album" from the German sextet that meshed Gothic and Celtic influences into a Hard Rocking Symphonic cocktail. The fact their line-up includes an actual cello player and violinist, alongside the expected positions, means Lyriel has a sound and style that is somewhat different to many exponents of Symphonic Metal.

Lyriel's fifth album ('Skin And Bones') continues somewhat in the same vein as 'Leverage', but this time around the band's core instruments have been given more oomph whilst some of the Symphonic arrangements have taken a back seat. The net result is another album full of different emotions and tempos but one with more riffs and textures due to the differing emphasis.

The opener 'Numbers' has a galloping riff that explodes on and off throughout with lots of violin embellishment, whether it's stabbing or whining; it features the first of several catchy choruses. The title track is another with pace that varies between mid and express pace, the grinding Classic Hard Rock riff in the verse takes off to the skies in the lively chorus; it's a real head-banger!

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As with the last album there is at least one song in their native German. 'Der Weg' has a mellow verse that builds to a thumping progression with the violin adding a Gothic, melancholy edge before the much lighter chorus kicks in. For the most part, they eschew the current trend of growling with the exception of 'Black And White' which features clean and guttural vocals from Christian Alvestam (ex-Scar Symmetry). If you dislike his contribution there is a second version as a bonus that effectively removes him.

My two favourites have to be 'Dust To Dust' and 'Running In Our Blood'. The former has a chugging riff in the verse that picks up in intent as the beat starts to stomp, the violin then kicks up an uplifting jig-like melody all culminating in a really infectious chorus. 'Running...' features a driven, at times frantic, riff that powers the whole song along until it reaches its peak in a lush, harmonic chorus.

Given how much I enjoyed 'Leverage', I am thrilled to say that 'Skin And Bones' is even better. The differing focus on guitars has given it a Hard Rocking edge whilst the attention to the strings brings out the expected melody and emotion without the need for full-blown grandiose arrangements; extra credit to Thomas Johannsen (Scar Symmetry) for the excellent production work. Add to this unique concoction the lush vocals of Jessica Thierjung and you have a superb album that catapults Lyriel into the top tier of Female-Fronted Metal.

Dave Scott

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