Lane, Lana - Secrets Of Astrology

Year of Release: 2000
Label: Limb Music Products
Catalog Number: LMP 0004-019
Format: CD
Total Time: 69:55:00

If you haven't already added Lana Lane to your list of great vocalists (female or male), then you haven't heard this, Secrets Of Astology; let me encourage you to do so. Yes, she does sound quite a bit like Ann Wilson of Heart, but I wouldn't say exactly. Though, I suppose, a short cut description would be that if Heart went back to their classic sound, tweaked it a bit, then this is what you'd have.

This is a strong album, with prog metal attitude without a lot of the prog metal bombast. With her husband keyboardist Erik Norlander producing, it isn't surprising that they keys are up front, but not at the expense of the crunching guitar of Arjen Lucassen and fretless bass of Tony Franklin, the booming drums of Ed Warby, and some real strings - Istvan Szeker on violin, Novi Novog on viola, and Cameron Stone on cello. Other guests include David Victor on guitar, Mark McCrite on acoustic guitars, mellotron, and harmony vocals (one the bonus track), and Robert Soeterboek on harmony vocals for most tracks.

Lane makes it all seem so effortless as her voice just glides, making it hard to pick out only one or two highlights. The title track's chorus has been stuck in my head for the past week or so, despite the other stuff I've been listening to. Years ago, artists would release singles, and then those would be gathered and put on an album, with a fit of filler added. Usually the singles were felt to be the strongest material, and lets assume for the sake of the argument, they were. Any one of these tracks could be released as a single (if radio still played music like this), as they all are that strong. "The Bell" is the ballad and the way Lane sings the chorus is so achingly beautiful that only the most hard-hearted out there would fail to be moved. Add in the cello, viola, and violin ... stunning. But "achingly beautiful" also describes "Alexandria."

But hang on, because we go from the warm caress of "The Bell" to the heart pounding adventure of "Speed Of Sound" with its decidedly speed metal ... assault.

The bonus track "Rhapsody" is a rollicking hard-rock number, that wouldn't seem out of place on an Iron Maiden album ... except Lane has a much more beautiful voice than Dickenson. And there are keys here, that I don't recall appearing in a Maiden tune. Members of Norlander's Rocket Scientists provide the backing on this album, and it's Neil Citron on this track with a cool guitar solo. Mark McCrite so wrote this with Norlander, as well.

I've only mentioned a third of this album, but these highlight the different textures here. As I said, these are all strong tracks and it's a rare album that does that these days. Definitely one of the best releases this year.

Also released by SPV USA

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) + Bonustrack : 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: September 30th 2000
Reviewer: Stephanie Sollow
Artist website:
Hits: 1843
Language: english


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