Black Lilium – Dead Man’s Diary

credit_by_Andy_Gruenitz

Last year saw the digital release of Dead Man’s Diary, the debut album from progressive melodic metallers Black Lilium. To provide an injection of fuel to its ear grabbing presence, the German outfit has just unleashed it in physical form, another reminder and nudge on the rich attention its impressive exploits deserves.

You could say the seeds to the band were first sown in the school days of guitarist Marcel Wroblewski and drummer Jan Knoop, the pair friends who subsequently played together in their first band in 1987. Jumping forward to 2013 and the pair began to work together again with Black Lilium formed a year later. In time its line-up was completed by guitarist Maurice Scholz, bassist Lasse Lammert, and vocalist/keyboardist Felix Hochkeppel, a quintet swiftly showing their imagination, craft, and bold adventure within Dead Man’s Diary.

There is something familiar but more so boldly individual about the band’s sound, its melodic seduction and rousing physical roar something akin to a fusion of Malum Sky, Silent Descent, and Voyager with a potent splash of early My Chemical Romance. Album opener Beast In The Backseat quickly insists of a predominate uniqueness to the band’s sound though, the song a swiftly and persistently striking introduction to the band for ears. Keys spread an engaging mesh first, rhythms lurking in its midst before triggering a voracious stride complete with swinging beats and the instantly delicious grievous grumble of the bass. There is an instinctive catchiness to the Black Lilium sound in general which just as quickly soaks the first track even as it calms a touch for the entrance of Hochkeppel striking tones. Every note and syllable comes with an inherent swing, the imaginative dexterity of voice and sound prowling every twist and moment with the same tenacity.

COVER_credit_by_Chris_Valentine

It is a great start to the album and straightaway Paragon Of Imperfection builds on it. An electronic reflection initially hugs ears, keys a thoughtful intimation as all the while darker shadows brew around them. Drama tints every evocative caress before Hochkeppel’s throat sparks another surge of contagious agility and energy which too embraces a melodic heart already bared. The volatility at the soul of the track never truly erupts but brings extra appealing drama to the encounter before Demon In Disguise out shines both with its virulent character and almost prowl like gait. As siren-esque as the embodiment of dangerously dark temptation that is its central protagonist, the outstanding song infests as it seduces, invades as it charms; its shadow wrapped moment of calm as magnetic as the galvanic roar driving its impressive presence.

As all tracks within the release next up Start All Over effortlessly fuses light and dark emotion and intensity with rich enterprise and imagination; the nurturing of a fine line in unpredictability within a fluid landscape of infectiousness extra captivation. The rhythms of Knoop and Lammert bite as they tempt and encourage, keys and guitars weaving a just as compelling persuasion within the track’s dark serenade while both Never and Walls Around My Soul seriously aroused with their respective uninhibited creative agility and emotive brooding. The first again is the epitome of one of the band’s stirring traits which helps shapes the album, its sound physically stalking body and imagination as it manipulates both into eager engagement with organic almost pop like catchiness while its majestic melancholy lined successor teases and tempts intimate shadows whilst brewing its own singular virus of invigorating sound and emotional orchestration.

Across the likes of equally inward seeking Everything I Am and The Ones You Made Us with its bold declaration, the band’s ever varied blend of flavours and captivation adds greater depth and captivation to Dead Man’s Diary; darkness, inner light, and the melancholic beauty which pervades the whole of the release uniting with individual attention hounding craft and a combined imagination which never lets expectations settle. If not quite breaching the depth of lust as incited by earlier tracks both offerings left ears and pleasure enriched, the following My Purpose similarly nurturing quick and increasing greed for its swiftly established distinction.

The closing pair of the album’s title track and Ghosts Without A Voice ensured Dead Man’s Diary left as dramatically and powerfully as it began, the former rising from a solemn sigh on melodic guitar threads to craft an incendiary pyre of emotion and sound; Hochkeppel’s continuing to impress vocals exposing heart and intensity. The final track almost infernally nags before opening up its electro metal resourcefulness and suggestion; a continuing rich temptation as the song unfurls its aggressive metal and invasively contagious trespass. Both songs alone left a hunger for more, an appetite severely exposed and escalated with every listen of this exceptional album.

So whether preferred as files or as something firmly grasped in the hand on CD, Dead Man’s Diary should seriously be checked out and indeed with great releases like this Black Lilium are unlikely to remain in the shadows of recognition for much longer.

Dead Man’s Diary is out now across most stores.

https://www.blacklilium.de/    https://www.facebook.com/blackliliumband/   https://twitter.com/blackliliumband

Pete RingMaster 18/02/2020

Copyright RingMasterReview: MyFreeCopyright

Dispel – Lore

photo by Novus Obscurum

In a world cast in increasing chaos and ravening shadows, the heart and determination of a warrior defines those that try to bring defiance and hope to the blackness. Maybe every century past and to come is wrapped in such respective darkness, but the spirit of ‘heroes and viragos’ certainly thrived in medieval times and now within the debut album from US dark electronic collective Dispel.

The fascinating Lore is a concept album embracing the “historic lore, mythology and mysticism” surrounding a hero’s journey in those Middle Ages but equally a tale as agile in inspiring thoughts and experiences echoing the now within an electronic soundscape of darkwave, Neo-Classical, and gothic rock just as primed to ignite ears and imagination. In sound and word, Lore is a captivation; a musical and lyrical tapestry which effortlessly grabbed attention from its very first breath to weave even greater intrigue and compulsion by the listen whether as a broad view and personally intimate incitement.

Dispel is the creation of drummer/keyboardist Scott Dispel, a founding member of old school hardcore band Face Value and currently the drummer for TEXTBEAK whose Mike Textbeak produced Lore. Alongside Scott, the band is completed by the richly magnetic tones of mezzo-soprano vocalist Ravensea and the potent presence of fellow vocalist Sean Gallows. The album also sees guitarist Sean Morrissey and bassist Jae Jones add their dark craft to the adventure , one which swiftly caught the imagination through album opener, Spiritual Warrior (The Hero).

The first track strides forth from an ecclesiastical dawn, its step confident and bold and matched in voice and swing. A tenebrous hue coats every electronic note and Cimmerian shaded syllable escaping Gallow’s throat, the track like a magnetic Clan of Xymox meets John Foxx era Ultravox enticement and quickly and thickly gripping.

(cover art by Scott ‘Wizardfool’ Stearns)

The Call (to Adventure) continues the album’s fine start; the just as swiftly enthralling voice of Ravensea radiating from within the song’s gloomier but no less tempting breath and embrace. The less defined fuzz of guitar adds a sinister almost toxic aspect to the track’s air yet is soon engulfed by the electro pop infectiousness of a chorus which had us keenly bouncing whilst prompting thoughts of March Violets  in their more synth ‘pop’ styled moments.

The light and romanticism of Ravensea’s voice and the crepuscular instincts of the sounds around her again provide an ear enthralling landscape within next up Modal Consequence (The Threshold).  Its melodic mist carries a great Visage-esque shade whilst its rhythmic gait, whether a sombre amble or elevated dance, is thick incitement for song and body before Abyssal Hammer (Chaos) with an instantly more imposing rhythmic swing driven by air splattering eats and the tantalising hum of the bass needs mere seconds to have us hooked. Emerging our favourite song, the track is a warning come declaration of darkness as virulently infectious as it is eagerly menacing and quite superb with the blend of Gallows and Ravensea’s voices pure harmonic charisma.

The first of a pair of “Sacred Choral pieces” is next in the evocative shape of Gift of the Goddess (Andante in Bb), later in the album  Atonement (Adagio in Bb)a similarly provocatively woven piece inspired by ‘Infelix ego,’ a Latin meditation composed by Girolamo Savonarola before he was burned at the stake. Each proved a seed for the imagination before the following likes of Hero’s Revelation (The Helper) with its overcast melodic and atmospheric beauty, again centred by the radiance that is Ravensea’s voice, and The Depth of Transformation (The Return) with its Tartarean arising from similarly infernal depths respectively had ears and imagination alive.

Slipping back across the album and between those two pairs of tracks sits Temptation (The Last Test), an enchanting and bewitching slice of electro intimation and vocal glamour as dark as it is lustrous and another song within Lore which got under the skin in an array of ways.

Though it captivated from the first moment it graced ears, enthralment only grew as the tale and melodic electronic adventure within Lore was further were explored and revealed play by play; an emprise sure to connect with your own personal journeys.

Lore is available for download and on CD with vinyl to follow via https://www.dispelmusic.com and https://dispelmusic.bandcamp.com/album/lore-lp

https://www.facebook.com/DispelMusicdotcom   https://twitter.com/Dispel_Music

Pete RingMaster 25/02/2020

Copyright RingMasterReview: MyFreeCopyright