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Review: Kiuas - Lustdriven

Label: SpineFarm Records
Year released: 2010
Duration: 48:46
Tracks: 10
Genre: Power Metal

Rating: 4/5

Review online: May 20, 2010
Reviewed by: Christopher Foley
Readers Rating

Rated 3.73/5 (74.62%) (26 Votes)

I was really looking forward to this one. I've always enjoyed Kiuas' brand of power metal spliced with just about every other metal sub-genre under the sun. They boast great energy and flair in their compositions and were never too scared to rip your face off. First impressions of Lustdriven were quite mixed, on the one hand it's pretty cool to see them fully embracing a prog/power type of sound but on the other I was pretty pissed they done off with the filth. However Kiuas are still heavier than a lot of the power metal bands out there, and Lustdriven is a really good album. Superb flow and composition feeling altogether more focused coupled with Ilja Jalkanen's excellent vocals is the name of the game here. Ilja sounds altogether better proving himself to be a fantastic vocalist.

Tracks such as "Cry Little Angel", "The Visionary" and "Heart and Will" are perfect examples of the overall sound of this album, massive power metal anthems with gargantuan choruses. Fans of the heavier side of Kiuas should be able to find enjoyment from tracks such as "Kiuassault" and "Aftermath" which are both insanely fun romps in the heavier side of power metal – guaranteed head-banging. As always Mikko Salovaara's guitar work is in top form, boasting some truly impressive licks and chops and let's not forget his superb acoustic work. Again as is always with the case with Kiuas the ballads are fantastic with the beautiful "Summers End" an entirely acoustic affair with great vocals. "Lights are Many" takes the semi-ballad approach with a quality mid-section entailing a moody piano piece coupled with distorted guitars and stellar rhythm work. Standout tracks for me would be the aforementioned tracks "Aftermath" and "The Visionary" as well as "The Quickening" which is one of the best tracks Kiuas have penned.

That said, this isn't without its flaws. As I said earlier they've cut out on the filthier side of their sound, gone are the blast beats, and gone are the death growls. Adding insult to injury there are numerous points through the album where the band tease you, progressing through musical passages where in the past they would have lynched us with some furious blasting – sadly they progression remains fruitless at these points on Lustdriven, normally leading back into a chorus. However the album is a big grower and after a while I got past the changes. Overall this is a solid album that fans of the band and genre should definitely look into – just don't expect The Spirit of Ukko round two. Recommended.

Other related information on the site
Review: Lustdriven (reviewed by Larry Griffin)
Review: Reformation (reviewed by Christopher Foley)
Review: The New Dark Age (reviewed by Christopher Foley)
Review: The New Dark Age (reviewed by Mike Henn)
Review: The Spirit of Ukko (reviewed by Bruce Dragonchaser)
Review: The Spirit of Ukko (reviewed by Larry Griffin)
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