Lanfear - Zero Poems

Year of Release: 1999
Label: Famous Kitchen
Catalog Number: n/a
Format: CD
Total Time: 51:49:00

With bands such as Vanden Plas and Ivanhoe, Germany has proven to have its fair share of prog metal answers. Zero Poems is the second album from the Lanfear quartet and in their own words, the band is purveyor of "powerful melodic epic adventure." So do expect a fair share of smart guitars embellished by hoarse vocals and with the local Portnoy at the ready to deliver the rhythmic goods. Nice and striking are the synth sprints, which most of the time are delivered in conjunction with the solos from guitarist Markus Ullrich. In "Turn The Tide," the Moog sounds very much like the "real" Wakeman (the same in "Naked"), yet Stefan Zoerner doesn't get a lot of time to show off his abilities because already another change in mood is announced. It has to be said that the keyboard player is also the singer so that, at least where this element is concerned, we have some similarities with that other German band, Everon.

Lanfear has stirred in many into their progressive "stew" such as Symphony X, Pain of Salvation, Savatage, Eternity X, Royal Hunt, Rhapsody, Stratovarius. "Eight Silent Chambers" has been written right on the crossing between classical music and death metal. Often classical influences degenerate into bombastic arrangements where we find a mix between prog elements from the seventies and the highlights of the NWOBHM (New Wave Of British Heavy Metal). A nice example here is "How Come?" Producer Andy Horn also paid attention to details and made sure he also introduced some unconventional instruments in order to make the Lanfear music less clich?. We also note a surprising cover of the ELO classic "Twilight" and end with the classical "Electric Storm, 2053 A.D." bathing in violins, piano and harmony. The band also alternates German lyrics with English ones in order to emphasize the international character of the band. It's not 100% my cup of tea but in its genre, Zero Poems certainly is one of the best.

Because the album consists of so many diverse elements I find it difficult to put one big label onto this product but then again is this really necessary?

Zero Poems (5:26) / Turn The Tide (5:35) / Eight Silent Chambers (7:39) / Epilogue:June, 2054 A.D. (1:10) / How Come ? (9:35) / My Karma Told Me (4:01) / To Sear The Flood (2:08) / Enlil/Genesis (3:41) / Naked (4:02) / Twilight (3:53) / Electric Storm, 2053 A.D. (4:31)

Stefan Zoerner - vocal and keyboards
Jurgen Schrank - drums
Markus Ullrich - guitars
Kai Schindelar - bass

Towers (1996) (released as Towers of February (1997))
Zero Poems (1999)
The Art Effect (2003)
Another Golden Age (2005)

Genre: Progressive-Power Metal

Origin DE

Added: February 1st 2000
Reviewer: John "Bobo" Bollenberg

Artist website: www.lanfeareu.jpg
Hits: 954
Language: english


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