Released: 2005, Lion Music
Vivien Lalu has got to be one of the busiest guys in metal. He may not be a household name, but he will be soon. Last year he wrote most of the music to Hubi Meisel’s captivating EMOCEAN album. Since then he has wrote and recorded this album – his solo debut – has finished writing and recording Hubi’s next CD, AND has just about finished writing his second solo CD. So, despite being finished for a while now, Lion Music has just released Vivien’s solo debut, ONRIC METAL. For this album Lalu recruited some of his friends in the metal biz, including ex-Annihilator bassist Richard Bergquist(!) and fellow EMOCEAN alum Joop Wolters.
As Vivien wrote most of the music for Hubi Meisel, you can really hear the similarities in Lalu. The same ethereal vibe exists in both bands, but in Lalu, it is tempered by much heavier guitars. In fact, considering that this is Lalu’s project, and he is the keyboardist, Wolters’ guitars absolutely dominate here, making the album much more intense than it otherwise might have been. Have no fear keyboard fanatics, Vivien gets in his keyboard acrobatics as well. As well, Martin LeMar impresses with his strong, acrobatic vocals.
As it’s his album, Vivien is free to go into all of the places that his mind imagines. Thus, ONRIC METAL is full of extremely progressive twists and turns, culminating in the 10+ minutes of “Timestop” and the full-on 18 minutes of “Potboy: The Final Fantasy”. It is overwhelming and excessive at times, but the overall listening adventure is entertaining.
ONRIC METAL might be a bit too much for many listeners, but those that are into progressive metal and can handle musicians’ excesses will find much to enjoy here.