Metal Temple – album review

LIGHTFOLD is a Greek progressive / power metal band from Athens, Greece. Thanasis Labrakis and Theodor Martinis formed the band in the middle of 2012. The line-up , when first signed to Metal Breed Records in 2013 released April 2014 debut full length album ” Time to Believe, “ consisted of vocalist Theodor Martinis , rhythm/lead guitarist Thanasis Labrakis, synth/keyboardist Harry Polimeneas , bassist Panagiotis Vavvas and drummer Eleni Nota. From 2014 to 2016 the band was participated in lots of Greek festivals in Athens and Thesalloniki such as Wreck Athens Fest, Under the Quarry Fest e.t.c . The band’s membership has changed several times with Thanasis Labrakis & Harry Polimeneas are the only two constant members since the beginning. LIGHTFOLD has finished the new concept full length album called “DeathWalkers” at CFN Recordings Studio. The second album is the first attempt of the band to create a story that life and death have meaning more than we can imagine. For this album we cooperate with female backing vocals in six tracks of the album, Margarita Papadimitriou, Christina Alexiou & Sofia Karvouna.

“Death as a Beginning” opens with a phone call from a man telling his wife “I’ll be home soon” followed by a car crash and female vocal chants, as if his soul is being lifted into the clouds. “Save Me” opens with sad, clean guitar vocals and the subject asking himself “am I dreaming?” The sound is easy on the ears…a blend of Progressive and Power Metal but not overdone. The backing female vocals give it a full and rich sound, and that was a great choice by the band. “Behind the Veil” explores the more mysterious side of death, opening with an ominous display of keys and clean guitar chords. The female backing vocals are there again, and the mix between guitars and keys is perfect. The song has a sad quality but also hopeful notes as well.

“Deathwalkers” opens with a lovely flurry of keyboards and a full-on sound, with an air of mystery. There is a darkness that permeates the sound here, as the title would suggest. It ends in a clean guitar passage that is very well done. “The Collector”feature some Progressive passages and a good mix between guitars and keys. Those backing female vocals are on point again. “Beyond the Unknown” opens with old school keys, thick with vibrato, and some timing manipulations and show the band’s musicianship. They builds this ominous foreshadowing that makes you wonder what is coming next. To this point in the album, the concept is very strong.

“Angel of the Earth” opens with a slow Power Metal sound, and a clean lead female voice, which was a good choice for this song. It has a grandiose feeling to it, like you were witnessing angels walking the earth. “She has to know” has a subdued and dreamy quality to it where the subject can sense his partner can see/feel him. It turns darker and more formidable when the vocals pick up. The guitar solo is a dazzling display of runs up and down the fretboard. “Demon upon me” explores the darker side of death, with an energetic display of guitar and keys and the feeling that you might be headed down instead of up. “Deception” opens with somber clean guitars and some spacy sounding keys. It moves slowly and cautiously at first, until that main riff drops with some Progressive elements. It has some delicate aspects as well…a very well-done song.

”The Battle” concerns eternal life in Heaven or life in Hell. It has a heavy and tense opening, fueled by keyboards. The drums rage in a fury of blast beats, and harsh vocals mix in with the clean. This battle has to be won. “Ascending” means the battle was won, and the subject is headed upwards. Female choirs can be heard in the background. It has a dreamy but somber feeling to it. “At the Gates of Heaven” is a three-minute instrumental closer, with some light female backing vocals that sound like angelic voices welcoming you to eternity.

Overall, this was a very ambitious effort to undertake as a concept album, but I feel like the band met this ambition head-on. Each song tells a different part of the story, and the stages of grief. It ends happily but be prepared for a thought-provoking ride along the way. Excellent musicianship is met with excellent story telling and a bevy of various musical approaches. This is an album that has to be heard.

Songwriting: 9
Originality: 8
Memorability: 8
Production: 8

by Dave “That Metal Guy” Campbell

Link:
http://www.metal-temple.com/site/catalogues/entry/reviews/cd_3/l_2/lightfold-deathwalkers.htm?fbclid=IwAR2cv1ztHIuGNfJ7Y34-jzmyzcFc8KhmcsJIdpGpqFnro87k16hwLt3C-aY

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