Released: 1999, Noise Records
Hot on the heels of the North American release of Lefay's "The Seventh Seal" comes a re-recording of some very classic and much sought-after Morgana Lefay material. A bit of background is required to explain this release. "Symphony of the Damned" was originally recorded in 1989 by Morgana Lefay. Only a handful of vinyl copies (537 to be exact) were produced as the album was self-financed and released independently. After the band was signed and their fanbase grew, so did the demand to re-release the material from their first full recording. Now with a re-vamped line-up Lefay have outdone that request by re-recording the material. According to vocalist Charles Rytkönen the goal is to sell at least 538 copies :-).
I can't compare this re-recording to the original 1989 release because I was not one of those 537 lucky ones who got the album. However, I love all the original (Morgana) Lefay tracks on this CD. It's very hard to pick any favorites. Of course "The Whore of Babylon" is an excellent CD opener that will have it's hooks deep into by the time the chorus kicks in. The classic "Symphony of the Damned" which I first heard on their 'best of' disc "Past Present Future" a couple of years back has been updated again and is one of the stronger tracks as is "Last Rites." I really like the style of the riffing that these guys have going on because the two guitars don't always follow each other. When one guitar plays the low chunky rhythm and the other plays a higher accompanying rhythm is when they capture the magic of what sets this band above so many others. It's hard to believe that these songs were written a decade ago. They sound every bit as modern and vital today. But hey, this is REAL metal and as we all know REAL metal is timeless and is not some kind of fad or trend that comes and goes!! The songs I don't much care for on "Symphony of the Damned" are the bonus tracks which aren't even their own songs anyway. The cover songs are the rock-n-roll flavored "Crazy", "Captain Howdy" (the best bonus track on the CD), "Strange Way" (how many bands have covered that song now??), and the horrible "Cocaine" by Eric Clapton (stupid drug, stupid song...Lefay can't be faulted with that, but come on guys!! They could of covered something much more cooler than that shit!?!).
I'm not sure if this release is available yet in North America. The release date everywhere else was August the 23rd. If you're a fan of Lefay or of thrashy power metal then I wouldn't be waiting to see if it's released here, just order the thing, you won't regret it! For more information on the band visit http://www.lefay.com
or their way cool label - http://www.noiserecords.com