|Review: Lanfear - X To The Power Of Ten|
|X To The Power Of Ten|
Label: Locomotive Music
Year released: 2008
Genre: Progressive Power Metal
Review online: January 12, 2009
Reviewed by: PowerMetal59
for:X To The Power Of Ten
This marks the fifth album from the German Power Metallers, who despite having been around since 1993, and having some solid releases in their war chest, have remained an obscure figure amongst the legions of Power Metal acts in existence today. I thought the band's previous two outputs The Art Effect and Another Golden Rage were two powerful slabs of Progressive Power Metal, unfortunately, they have struggled miserably to obtain the type of recognition they so richly deserve.
In 2006, not long following the release of Another Golden Rage, the band parted ways with vocal giant Tobias Althammer and replaced him with former Anguish vocalist Nuno Miguel de Barros Fernandes. In 2008 the band signed a new deal with Locomotive Records, which sets the stage for the bands new album X To The Power Of Ten.
Lanfear has consistently played their brand of Progressive Power Metal with a fiery aggressive edge, and X To The Power Of Ten is not an exception, no saccharine sweet Power Metal here folks. All the elements that you would expect to find in a Lanfear release are present, heavy, sharp riffs, lightning quick solos, evenly layered keyboards and a pounding rhythm section, but while this album is very good. it doesn't quite measure up to the previous Lanfear catalog. New vocalist Nuno Miguel de Barros Fernandes, while certainly capable of carrying a tune, at times struggles with a far too frequent monotone delivery. Lack of range is clearly his weakness. This was never an issue with previous front man Tobias Althammer whose gargantuan vocal performances on both The Art Effect and Another Golden Rage was the primary ingredient that separated Lanfear from the majority of their Power Metal peers. I liken it to the loss of Daniel Heiman from Lost Horizon. An awesome singing voice is like an instrument, and sometimes it cannot be replaced!
Now don't get me wrong, the remainder of the guys play their instruments with a high level of skill and precision, it's just that the songs themselves are just not as good. That "holy shit this is awesome" feeling that flooded you in the past is just not present. Again the vocals are part of the culprit, but beyond that an irritating pattern of what I would label as dull spots are written into most of the songs.
It would be fair to conclude that as a result of the aforementioned line-up change, and songwriting which falls below their usual high standards, that X To The Power Of Ten is not as strong an effort when benchmarked against the previous two albums. In the end, while perhaps not a classic, it's not inherently bad and may be worth a listen if you are a fan. Hopefully, in the future the boys can ascend the summit to reach the higher altitudes of their past.
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