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Lana Lane
Project: Shangri-La
April 2002
Released: 2002, Limb
Rating: 3.5/5
Reviewer: JP

The label describes L. Lane as the “Reigning Queen of US Symphonic progressive Rock”. A pretty fair description methinks because this ain’t metal! It falls nicely on the fringes of metal but is somehow deceptive. It looks metal, feels metal has some semi-metal guys in the band but in reality, where it counts…the music, this ain’t metal. “So JP, why the hell are you reviewing it?”, you may ask. Because it IS good, it deserves attention and has crossover appeal for our more open-minded fans of progressive metal.

This is the 12th release since 1995 by the very prolific Lana Lane but only the 6th full length studio CD. With her long-time writing partner Norlander and backed by Vinnie Appice on drums as well as Neil Citron. Mark Boals and Hegle Engleke (Ex-Fair Warning) drop in for a quick guest appearance. Every LL CD has some dude stopping by for a guest appearance.

The whole CD is VERY mellow…not “bad” just mellow. Only two tunes, “Encore” and “Life is Only a Dream” came close to getting my pulse racing. The good stuff is that Lana’s voice is really sweet…not too high up and angelic but not growly at all…very warm and smooth, even husky in places and she doesn’t just “sing”. She conveys the intelligent lyrics with passion and emotion; a truly remarkable voice and talent.

The music is lush and complex prog rock but without even being too pretentious or note-dense, never losing track of the song. Most songs are in the five minute plus range but never getting too indulgent into laborious 10 minute plus epics. The songs are well written, well arranged with a great number of elements. Overall I would recommend this for fans of Dream Theater and Rush but not say, fans of Evergrey, Zero Hour, or any of the heavier progressive bands.

A truly excellent CD in almost every respect, it sets goals and achieved them with ease… but it’s total lack of heaviness (which in all fairness was never likely a primary goal) knocks it down a point.
Track Listing






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