Released: 2000, Noise Records
Lefay return with a stormer of an album that to me has outdone even their last release, 1999's The Seventh Sign (one of my Top Picks from 1999 actually). It's great to be into a band that are consistent in putting out quality music like this. There's nothing worse then waiting 3-4 years between albums like we have to with some bands.
Overall ...---... (Morse code for S.O.S. - Save our Souls) is more focused and somewhat more aggressive than the last Lefay CD. I've heard S.O.S. several times through and unless I wouldn't of read about it I would of never known that this was a concept CD! That's kind of too bad actually, because if a band has a story to tell you'd think they would of written it so that people can follow it. Maybe the point was to make us read the lyrics several times through in order to decipher the message. I am probably way off but it seems like this is about a person who is questioning reality and keeps hearing the Morse code signal "dit-dit-dit da-da-da dit-dit-dit." It seems as if the central character is plagued with finding a way out of his "reality." This way out culminates in the CD's final track "The Choice." How the very cool cover art plays into this story I haven't a clue. You have Jesus decked out in his robe and don't forget the cyborg tubing protruding from his chest. Surrounding him are his monks of doom wearing gas masks and instead of bearing a cross around their necks they wear the symbol for radiation - pretty bizarre isn't it! Of course, Lefay have their token hour glass on the album cover as usual! Perhaps in a few months, after I've had time to assimilate the lyrics, I will have more of a clue as to what this is really all about.
Although I may not be able to shed a lot of light on the storyline, I can tell you about the music on the CD! Simply put - this is a must have CD for fans of real metal. It has aggression and heavy parts yet it is also melodic. Vocalist Charles Rytkönen really is a versatile singer. He's able to spew out venom like on the heavy track "When Gargoyles Fly", sing a haunting melody like in the chorus to "Sleepwalker" and then switch to a ballad-like deep and rich vocal style for the track "Epicedium." One of my favorite tracks on the CD is "Cimmerian Dream" which has a part in the song that has a very cool piece of music. Just after the two minute mark the song launches into this very heavy, very tightly played part with machine gun riffing and synchronized double kicks. Sure, other bands have done that sort of thing but it really stands out on this CD!! Another moment on the CD that stood out for me was in "The Choice" which begins with a piercing scream that would make Rob Halford proud (or probably jealous these days)!! Charles really is one of the better vocalists on the scene today!! The only track on the CD that is unoriginal is "Bloodred Sky." This sounds way too much like Megadeth's "Symphony of Destruction." If they wanted to rip off Megadeth, why didn't they listen to "Holy Wars"?
If you like aggressive powerful metal with a dose of melody then you had better take a listen to Lefay. Their back catalog as both Lefay and their ex-moniker Morgana Lefay is also worth picking up. This CD is definitely on my personal top list as one of my favorite CD's of 2000 to date. "S.O.S." or "... - - - ..." will be released on April the 27th...watch for it! More info can be found on the band's official page at http://www.lefay.com