Released: 2012, Pure Steel Records
Germany’s Lanfear returns with their sixth album, 2012’s THIS HARMONIC CONSONANCE. Despite having been together for nearly 20 years, the band continues to toil away in relative obscurity. Upon listening to the new album, one has to wonder why this is. Perhaps part of the problem is the small and Indie labels the band has been on, which usually lack the funds for a marketing push. Also, admittedly, Lanfear is a progressive/power metal band with all the musical complexities that are associated with the genre, but without overblown keyboards or dog-whistle high vocals. The music has considerably more bite as well, the band sharing more in common with Morgana Lefay than Rhapsody of Fire. Another positive is the band hits quick with 4 songs being under 5 minutes, unheard of in most progressive metal bands.
Whatever the reason, Lanfear remains a hidden gem for many metal fans to discover. In a just world, the quality of THIS HARMONIC CONSONANCE should end that. This is an excellent album on all levels, with something for every fan. There are heavy riffs, melodic guitar solos, expressive and restrained vocals and simply crushing production values. Album opener “Doomsday” is a quick instrumental, designed more as a build towards the Morgan Lefay-ish “Colours of Chaos” with its heavy triplet repeating riff. The band also shows its technical skills on this track, but is equally capable of simplifying for increased impact as on “The Reverend”. Singer Nuno Miguel de Barros Fernandes utilizes a comfortable range, clearly articulating the lyrics but still capable of the occasional falsetto screams.
Lanfear employs less complex progressive metal and more power metal on this album. While there are more than a few passages of unaccompanied clean guitars and vocals, most of this is quite speedy and chunky, similar in many ways to Labyrinth. Lanfear also defies easy categorization, not really falling into any style neatly, which is a definite strength, especially when saturated genre terms like power metal and progressive are used to describe your sound. Lanfear is a little of both and other styles as well, truly forging their own unique sound, something rare in music today not just metal. The band of course recognizes their difficult position, on their home page declaring themselves ““100% Underrated Metal Exclusively”. Yeah, I will go along with that. Here is hoping that the new album changes that. Recommended for fans of Morgana Lefay, Labyrinth, and Crimson Glory.