|Review: Lingua Mortis Orchestra - LMO|
Label: Nuclear Blast Records
Year released: 2013
Genre: Symphonic Metal
Review online: February 20, 2014
Reviewed by: MetalMike
Lingua Mortis Orchestra is a Symphonic Metal band consisting of the German Power Metal band Rage, Peter "Peavy" Wagner (bass, vocals), Victor Smolski (guitar, cello) and André Hilgers (drums), plus singer Jeannette Marchewka and soprano Dana Harnge and orchestral musicians from Spain and Belarus. If all that sounds to you like it would make for a big sound, you couldn't be more right. This is Symphonic Metal that brings together the storytelling of Avantasia, the grand themes of Serenity and the majesty of Nightwish. The band's debut album, LMO, tells a story of witch burning in the town of Gelnhausen in the late 16th century. The music was composed mainly by Smolski (with a couple of helpers from Peavy) while the lyrics, written entirely by Peavy, deal with all the religious and social issues surrounding the misguided and sometimes random persecution of accused witches in Europe at the time. Peavy handles the majority of the vocals and his gruff mid-range is in fine form. He is aided admirably by Machewka and Harnge who bring great depth and range to LMO. While there are a lot of orchestral instruments, like violins and cellos, which give the music a huge, room-filling sound, at the core this is still Rage and catchy Power Metal is what these guys excel at. Songs like "Cleansed by Fire," "The Witches Judge" and "Eye For An Eye" are superb anthems with choruses that you'll be singing along with almost from the start. The story is so engaging and even I, a person who tends to ignore lyrics, kept going back to try and discern what was said so I could more completely follow what was happening. At then end of the day, about the only question I could possibly ask is "was LMO the best album title the band could come up with?" I don't think I've ever picked a smaller nit, so why don't we just forget I brought it up, ok?
LMO is a wonderfully complete and exciting album with few down spots and plenty of highs. If Serenity's Death & Legacy, Avantasia's The Metal Opera or any of Nightwish's early albums are in your collections, make room for Lingua Mortis Orchestra because they've got another album you need.
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