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The Seventh Seal
Released: 1999, Noise Records
Many of you no doubt remember Sweden's Morgana Lefay. To me they were a good band but one that never really grabbed you on first listen. They are the type of band that grow on you with time. I'm sure that the two big questions on many minds is - why the name change and where have they been?? They were doing really good for themselves but then they dropped off the face of the planet after four studio albums and two ' best of' compilations. Here's what happened... In 1997 three of the band's members moved to opposite ends of Sweden, leaving vocalist Charles and guitarist Tony alone in the band. Why that happened is another story so to shorten this up the two recruited three new members and continued on. With a new band and a new bunch of songs in hand the band decided to leave their old label and thus began a two year legal struggle. To avoid an even longer legal battle the band decided to shorten their name to "Lefay." So the boys then hooked up a new deal with Noise Records and the CD came out in 1998 in Europe and now (finally) in July 1999 in North America.
Fans of Morgana Lefay are no doubt hoping that Lefay will pick up where they left off...and guess what? ...Lefay delivers! Sure you'll notice some difference in the lead playing and some different influences in the music but the core of what I know Morgana Lefay to be lives on in Lefay. The distinction between the two might be that the former band have a slightly more technical approach than Lefay. What you can expect from the music of Lefay is solid powerful heavy metal with no compromises and no trend following. If you are a fan of Iced Earth, Savatage or other dark power metal bands you owe it to yourself to at least check this band out. The CD's hotspots include the title track "The Seventh Seal", "The Boon He Gives" and I also liked the album's two thrashy tracks "Child of Time" (YES!!) and "Shadow Empire" These two are more upbeat and in your face then the other tracks, thus the reason for them standing out for me. Most songs on the CD are more mind-tempo and just plain h e a v y! I feel it necessary to point out that Charles Rytkonen has to be one of the most under-rated vocalists in metal today. Even on this album's softer moments his vocals make it bearable for me to listen to acoustic guitar!! His haunting voice reigns on "Moonlit Night" - one the CD's more mellow tracks, but still great for the vocals.
I urge you to not put off checking these guys out. They have been underdogs for too long and they have a lot to offer. Anyone who goes through four studio albums, two studio CD's, a lengthy legal battle and still pulls of a CD of this caliber clearly is here for the long haul and is dedicated to metal 100%. It's time to set the demons free, open the seventh seal!!!
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