Lane, Lana - Secrets Of Astrology

Year of Release: 2000
Label: Limb Music Products
Catalog Number: LMPR 31922
Format: CD
Total Time: 69:55:00

I'm convinced a lot of prog diehards have it difficult calling the music of Lana Lane progressive rock. Call it AOR with a fair amount of prog elements if you like, because once again husband Erik Norlander has put a big stamp on this new Lana Lane production.

Norlander certainly is a busy guy, what with putting his second solo album together, having released a brand-new Rocket Scientists album, having done this new Lana Lane album, and having worked on the forthcoming new albums by Ayreon. In fact, the flying Dutchman Arjen Lucassen certainly must have made a big impression on our Erik as parts of the Secrets Of Astrology have been recorded in Holland, both at the RS29 studio where most of the Ayreon albums have been recorded, plus at The Electric Castle itself, home of hermit Lucassen. To top it all, Arjen Anthony Lucassen plays guitar, bass, and even mellotron, whilst all drums are handled by another Ayreon contributor: Ed Warby (also known from his own band Gorefest). Robert Soeterboek contributes harmony vocals as well.

The instrumental opener "Astrology Prelude" highlights all of Norlander's analogue keys and directly sets the tone for what promises to be a fantastic album indeed. The orchestral arrangement really does the song a lot of good, and blends well with the hard hitting chords of Lucassen, the powerful drumming of Warby, and the fretless bass of Tony Franklin, known for his work with The Firm and Blue Murder. Title track "Secrets Of Astrology" highlights the powerful and expressive vocal talents of our Lana, resulting in a perfect mix between rock, progmetal and mainstream AOR. The song certainly has a very strong chorus and I also like the eastern flavoured keyboard interventions contrasting with the hard-etched backing of the guitars.

Whilst Lana's voice has often been compared to that of the Wilson sisters (Heart), a song like "Raining" could well obtain the necessary amount of airplay as it really holds all of the right elements, not in the least the catchy chorus. Maybe Lana Lane's songs are a bit too elaborate for radio purposes, but one can certainly edit certain songs to end with the wanted 3-minute format. For us, lovers of good music, these long songs automatically mean room for solos such as some great swirling Hammond. The double bass drumming of Warby works tremendously well during "Speed Of Sound," alternating nicely with Erik's synth interventions. In fact, when I heard this song for the first time, I couldn't help thinking about Montrose's "Jump On It." "Tarot" kicks off in medieval fashion before hard-hitting guitar riffs make this once again a very contemporary song. I have to emphasize Erik's Hammond playing once again, reminding me a lot of Jon Lord. In fact there's plenty more Lord-like genius to be found on "Long Winter Dreams" as well. There's even a bonus track by means of the powerful "Rhapsody" recorded a while ago in California.

Apart from the fact that most of the musicians on this album are different to the ones we already knew, there's little difference to be noted where the songs and quality of Lana Lane is concerned. It's another proof of her talent and it is about time she got more recognition. A truly well deserved effort.

Also released by InsideOut Music

Astrology Prelude (3:59) / Secrets Of Astrology (8:33) / Alexandria (5:16) / Raining (6:17) / The Bell (5:16) / Speed Of Sound (5:24) / Under The Sun (4:43) / Tarot (4:47) / Asherah (6:52) / Guardian Angel (6:41) / Long Winter Dreams (5:51) / Astrology Postlude (3:31) / Bonus Track: Rhapsody (5:25)

Lana Lane - vocals
Erik Norlander - Hammond, Mellotron, piano, Rhodes, Minimoog, Oberheim, Roland synths
Arjen Anthony Lucassen - guitars, bass and Mellotron
David Victor - guitars
Tony Franklin - bass, acoustic guitars, harmony vocals, percussion
Ed Warby - drums

Love Is An Illusion (1995)
Curious Goods (1996/2002)
Garden Of The Moon (1998/2002)
Echoes From The Garden (1998)
Live In Japan (1998)
Love Is An Illusion 1998 Version (1998)
Ballad Collection (1998)
Acoustic Live in Tokyo (1999) (promotional release only)
Queen Of The Ocean (1999/2005)
Echoes From The Ocean (1999)
Secrets Of Astrology (2000/2005)
Ballad Collection (2000)
Project Shangra-La (2002)
Covers Collection (2002/2003)
Lana Lane and Erik Norlander - European Tour 2003 Souvenir CD (2003)
Winter Sessions (2003)
Return To Japan (2004)
Lady Macbeth (2005)
Gemini (2006)
Red Planet Boulevard (2007)
The Best Of Lana Lane 2000-2008 (2008)

Storybook - Tales From Europe And Japan (2004) (DVD)

Genre: Progressive Rock

Origin US

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

Artist website:
Hits: 1074
Language: english


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