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Lanfear - "This Harmonic Consonance" (CD)

Lanfear - "This Harmonic Consonance" CD cover image

"This Harmonic Consonance" track listing:

1. Giorno del Giudizio (1:05)
2. Colours of Chaos (4:40)
3. By-Product Nation (3:37)
4. The Reverend (6:22)
5. Idiopathic Discreation (7:43)
6. Camera Silens (5:33)
7. I, Robot Sapiens (4:12)
8. Spectrophobia (5:55)
9. Word Not Spoken (6:05)
10. Disharmonic Consonance (4:28)

Reviewed by on April 13, 2012

"The end result is something that shifts between songs, but overall ends up about 60% grandiose power metal and 40% prog/avant-garde insanity."

Germany’s Lanfear is currently on its seventh full-length album and has been pumping out the progressive/power metal since the early ‘90s, yet for some reason the band doesn’t seem to have a big following in either of those genres’ respective camps. Perhaps the seventh time is the charm, because "This Harmonic Consonance” is a strong entry in the realm of melodic and unique metal. The band’s own words may best describe what to expect from the album, as the group commented on signing with Pure Steel Records for this release, “Labels don't search for high quality bands but chase trends to get a share of the decreasing pie…Music is art, most people seem to forget about that!”

So just how far does “This Harmonic Consonance” go with the “progressive” tag into the avant-garde realm? There’s a bit of a balancing act going on, as the prog sounds are readily heard most in the transitions and change-ups during songs. Taking a page from the To-Mera playbook, there’s a sudden slowdown into an almost lounge music style sound on “Colours of Chaos,” and tracks like “By-Product Nation” have bizarrely unique keyboards and sound effects.

Power metal fans who aren’t too excited by the prog aspects will still have a stake here though, as that balancing act between the two frequently swings more towards the power end. The end result is something that shifts between songs, but overall ends up about 60% grandiose power metal and 40% prog/avant-garde insanity. “Idiopathic Discreation” mixes the two styles together in the most interesting and fist-pumping way, as it’s very energetic, has lots of sound changes, and throws in the epic feel that creates the appeal for power metal in the first place. There are also a couple of growls on “Camera Silens” for good measure, but overall this is a disc focused on melodic power metal vocals.

As far as flaws on the album go, it does seem fairly unfocused, as the music meanders a bit and lacks a unifying theme. There are also plenty of parts where the sound could definitely use a little heavier punch. For all the unexpected progressive twists, there’s somehow still sections that are underwhelming, like the repeating guitar riff on “The Reverend” that never goes anywhere and fails to be interesting. Some parts are also a bit on the minimalistic side, like the quick burst of acoustic guitar strums accompanied by whispers on “Camera Silens.”

Lanfear’s latest output isn’t completely fulfilling, as it’s less bombastic and robust than straight power metal and less complex than many full on prog acts, but the nice balance gives it potential appeal for fans of everything from Destiny’s End to Anubis Gate and Fates Warning.

Highs: Unique mixing of power metal with some prog rock and lots of transitions between sound styles.

Lows: The album is overall unfocused and could use a bit more of an extreme edge.

Bottom line: A solid prog/power metal entry that can appeal to fans of either style.

Rated 3.5 out of 5 skulls
3.5 out of 5 skulls


Key
Rating Description
Rated 5 out of 5 skulls Perfection. (No discernable flaws; one of the reviewer's all-time favorites)
Rated 4.5 out of 5 skulls Near Perfection. (An instant classic with some minor imperfections)
Rated 4 out of 5 skulls Excellent. (An excellent effort worth picking up)
Rated 3.5 out of 5 skulls Good. (A good effort, worth checking out or picking up)
Rated 3 out of 5 skulls Decent. (A decent effort worth checking out if the style fits your tastes)
Rated 2.5 out of 5 skulls Average. (Nothing special; worth checking out if the style fits your taste)
Rated 2 out of 5 skulls Fair. (There is better metal out there)
< 2 skulls Pretty Bad. (Don't bother)