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Review: Morgana Lefay - Grand Materia
Morgana Lefay
Grand Materia

Label: Black Mark Productions
Year released: 2005
Duration: 59:45
Tracks: 12
Genre: Heavy Metal

Rating: 5/5

Review online: September 24, 2005
Reviewed by: 4th Horseman
Readers Rating
Grand Materia

Rated 4.69/5 (93.79%) (29 Votes)

The last rites were read, the coffin was lowered deep, and a legend was buried eight years ago. In 2005, that very legend smashed open its grave and stormed back out. Morgana Lefay finally surface again with heaving might and a fist to the teeth (with the proper name, full line-up and the legal rights etc). No holds barred this time around boys and girls. The heaviest power metal band in existence has with relative ease, stomped and shoved its way straight to the very top! "Grand Materia" may just be the towering point of Morgana Lefay's career. Not only is "Grand Materia" the best album that this year has to offer, it is undoubtedly the best comeback by any band…ever! You will not find many comeback albums that can overshadow the classics that made the band who they are. But "Grand Materia" does precisely that!

Right off the start, I will say that the bulk of the music Morgana Lefay play is simply more than cheap thrills and catchy punch lines and choruses. There isn't a single MG album out there that clicks right on first listen, and "Grand Materia" is no exception. This is a mind-blowingly cool concept album with an awesome storyline and lyrics – thanks to vocalist extraordinaire Charles Rytkonen. And for those that have had a problem with his vocals in the past, you might as well just stop reading right now as his performance on "Grand Materia" has gotten even more aggressive, raspy and psychotic. 'Love or hate' has always been the case with his vocals, and if you stood on the 'hate' camp before, well then I just feel sorry for you as you may not enjoy this album one bit.

Musically, it is as usual very difficult to describe as these boys don't follow any prescriptions and pretty much play their own style. And on "Grand Materia", I would say that the power metal aspect is all gone and the emphasis is very clearly on mid-tempo grooves and heavy guitar crunch. Further worth mentioning is the even more pronounced doom presence in the music than in the past. On "My Funeral is Calling" for example, the way a somber tune just explodes with guitars crawling into your brain and the vocals piercing through is just legendary. It is really a surreal album that manages to keep your interest from beginning to end (although it suffers some downtime on "Emotional Sanctuary" - it can be considered a fairly weak track).

Look no further guys… this year belongs to the Swedes – welcome back Morgana Lefay!

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Interview with Robin Engström (drums) on December 4, 2005 (Interviewed by 4th Horseman)
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