Lyriel – Leverage

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Reviewed: July 2012
Released: 2012, AFM Records
Rating: 4.0/5
Reviewer: Waspman

If I’m being completely honest, I wasn’t really looking forward to listening to this album. Coming in, I knew nothing about Germany’s Lyriel, and the prospect of listening to another female-fronted folk metal act (as described by their bio), left me feeling bored before I even heard the album. The fact that the band already has three previous album releases didn’t impress me, given that I’d never heard of them before.

Well, I’m happy to say that LEVERAGE is yet another reminder that, say it with me children, you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover because, this album is shockingly enjoyable – to the point that I’ve probably played it more than any other in the last two months. To my ears, Lyriel is more of a symphonic metal band with folk influences (certainly their permanent cello and violin players separate them from the mere Nightwish clones out there). That may be a slight distinction, but it’s an important one, as Lyriel relies heavily on bombast to sell their music – LEVERAGE is jam-packed with the aforementioned cello & violin, as well as bright keyboards overtop of the grinding guitars. Over top of it all sits Jessica Theirjung – the powerfully voiced siren of the band. Her performance throughout the album is truly impressive.

Now, if you’ve heard any symphonic metal, you know exactly what to expect from Lyriel. It’s true – they’re not doing anything on LEVERAGE that you haven’t heard before. What helps to set them apart is the strength of their song writing. Nearly every song on the album is crafted perfectly and packed with hooks that will stay with you long after it is over. If I had to pick highlights, I’d go with the thunderous “White Lily” or the German-language duet, “Wenn Die Engel Fallen”.

Lyriel is definitely my pleasant surprise of the month; and probably the year so far. This is highly recommended for those who enjoy folk or symphonic metal.


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Track Listing:
1. When It’s Coming To An End
2. Leverage
3. Parting
4. Voices In My Head
5. The Road Not Taken
6. White Lily
7. Aus Der Tiefe
8. Wenn Die Engel Fallen
9. Side By Side
10. Repentance

Lineup:
Jessica Thierjung: Vocals
Oliver Claymore: Guitar
Martin Ahmann: Keyboards
Matthias Kirchler: Bass
Marcus Fidorra: Drums
Linda Laukamp: Cello
Johannes Anand: Violin

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