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Reviews - L

LABYRINTH - FREEMAN  

ARISE RECORDS  

This power metal band is catchy and melodic, which is good, but normal and expected. This is one of the few power metal bands from Italy that gets some press here and there in North America. As power metal goes, there's not much to be negative about, since they have the songs and melody required for the style. They are not great, like Lost Horizon or Sonata Arctica, but they are good. Ok, but there are a couple of things about this band that are distinctive: 1) the singer has a nasal voice, which might bother some people because he's whiny at times and 2) they have their hard rock moments. This is not speedy, double-bass power metal, but more like power metal with heavy metal and hard rock.  

www.arisemetal.com  

Mauricio Araniva  

 

 

 

LACUNA COIL - S/T  

CENTURY MEDIA  

This is very good melodic hard rock. The music is awesome and the vocalist has an excellent voice. The main problem is that this is not metal. It just borders too much on hard rock. Guns N roses sounds like thrash metal compared to this. If you are flexible on the metal VS hard rock question and you like melody and singing, check this out. I get the feeling that this band could make it big, but by that time it won't even be hard rock, just rock.  

LIEFF  

 

 

 

LAKE OF TEARS - BLACKBRICKROAD  

SANCTUARY/NOISE RECORDS  

This is definitely one for the open-minded audience that has enjoyed the evolution of Tiamat, Katatonia, Paradise Lost, Anathema, etc. I mention those bands not because this one is anything similar to that, but because it has that postmetal rock vibe. This is not fancy schmancy, tripped out or weird, but the songs stick. The songs revolve around a simple rock beat, a simple note that they milk a lot and a basic drum beat: nothing original or innovative, but memorable. This is pretty mellow rock for people to just nod along. "Metal-only" types will find nothing of interest here because it's not metal at all.  

www.lakeoftears.net  

Mauricio Araniva  

 

 

 

LAMENT -"TEARS OF A LEPER"  

ROWE PRODUCTIONS  

Here we have 10 songs of highly melodic Mexican death metal. I was really surprised that I liked this band, for they're not really the type of band I would listen to. It kind of reminds me somewhat of an 80's influenced band. It's some pretty cool stuff actually. It takes a few good listens to get acquainted with this release, but it just has a different feel to it. You'd have to listen to it to see what I mean. The vocals kind of remind me of somebody, but I hear that they have the drummer growling now, so who knows what they sound like now? Any way, this doesn't really remind me of anyone, and that's always a plus, even if you don't think they're any good. The music is pretty catchy, and like I said before, pretty melodic, and also has a good touch of brutality. Any way, if your looking for some cool death metal, check it out.  

MIKE  

 

 

 

LEASH LAW: DOGFACE  

BLACK LOTUS RECORDS  

The first time I listened to this album I could not make it past the fourth song because I found the high, nasal vocals too annoying. The vocals reminded of 80s glam rock bands, like Slaughter whose music was awful and the singing even worse. OK, so, I decided to come back to this cd later just in case I had been in a crabby mood. What happened the second time? I found this album even more annoying. Furthermore, I was embarrassed to be playing it because it sounded so cheesy with the 80s rock vibe. "Who enjoys this crap?" I asked myself. OK, OK, so, just to make sure, I decided, like a moron, to play it a third time. Wow!! What a difference a third time makes! This band totally convinced me way beyond a shadow of a doubt that they do, in fact, suck!! It's not that they're bad. They are awful, so much in that I could not stand the second song. And to think that Richard Christy is playing drums here!!  

www.leash-law.com  

Mauricio Araniva  

 

 

 

LET ME DREAM - PROMO  

ADIPOCERE  

First of all, if you do not appreciate their debut CD on ADIPOCERE REC., you should just pass away. LET ME DREAM definitely play their own music, create their own style and don't care about what people think. The music is a mix between gothic and some doom. But the most original thing are the vocals, as they are sometimes black metal like, strangely gothic, but always surprising. LET ME DREAM is definitely not a closed minded band. Explore it and realize what is hidden behind this evocative name.  

NICOLAS  

 

 

 

LIFEND: INNERSCARS  

CRUZ DEL SUR MUSIC  

Lifend tries hard, really hard. They employ a saxophone in their songs combine clean Lacuna Coil-type vocals with masculine singing, as well as black metal screaming. What a headache this band is! There's just too much going on with nothing to hold it together. The black metal screaming is pretty annoying. The clean singing sounds cheese. This is cabaret metal. Some people are trying hard. Lifend is one of those bands. I think the ideas of the band could work, but I just don't think they are doing it well. To make matters worse, the production is inferior, like a demo.  

www.lifend.com  

Mauricio Araniva  

 

 

 

LILITU: THE DELORES LESION  

THE END RECORDS  

Lilitu rages and thrashes right out of the gates and comes off sounding great. The growling has a special something, that bit of aggression to make them stand out. The overall sound has a bit of melody, but plenty of death/thrashing. That's the first song. The second one starts off and here we go again, sounding great and just when you were getting comfortable, here comes the clean singing and it's a bit of a whiny/nasal sound, but they don't miss a beat. Now, from this moment on, the real sound of the band comes through, a brand of melodic metal with a wide spectrum, from thrashing to melodic, quieter moments. They are certainly very good at their craft. Fans of this style should most definitely investigate.  

www.theendrecords.com  

Mauricio Araniva  

 

 

 

LIMBONIC ART - "MOON IN THE SCORPIO"  

NOCTURNAL ART PRODUCTIONS  

LIMBONIC ART specializes in classical, complex, extreme black metal at its best. I thank the main man at FULL MOON PROD. for talking me into buying this magnificent band. The songs, 6 in total, are very long and atmospheric. Exceeding almost 10 min. each I believe. For those who do not like long songs, believe me when I say that the breaks they have and the transitions they have are excellent. For example, the song "Beyond the Candles Burning", is pretty fast, but after 8 min. or so it goes into this slow, doomy, very atmospheric piece that just put me in a trance. Very, very atmospheric. Another example, "Beneath the Burial Surface", is also pretty fast, after 8 min. or so, Morfeus- lead guitar, backing vocals, and keymaster, plays this melodic slow atmospheric piano piece while the guitars and drums are still at a high velocity. As Lieff would put it; "How many bands could pull off piano parts in their songs and actually make it work?". Well, LIMBONIC ART does it in every song and has released an album that is excellent. Another thing I want to mention, just cause, is the art work. When I looked at the cover, it reminded me of something I would see in a Japanese Animation movie. When I looked to see who they got the art work from, it said; Cover Art by Morfeus. I was highly impressed! So either he's taking credit for something he didn't do or he's an excellent artist, both musically and in drawing / painting. This CD is an excellent piece of work that fans of MASTERS HAMMER, ARCTURUS, and EMPEROR should enjoy. This CD is distro. By NECROPOLIS REC. and FULL MOON PROD. in the U.S., I suggest you buy this.  

MIKE  

 

 

 

LINEA 77 - "TOO MUCH HAPPINESS MAKES KIDS PARANOID"  

EARACHE RECORDS  

I listened to this CD TWICE, and I still couldn't seem to form a strong opinion on it. All I can say is that it didn't suck, but I thought it was horribly generic. I think that this might appeal to the Korn and Sevendust fans out there. I don't know. It's certainly not the kind of thing I would ever spend money on or time listening to, but I didn't vomit or anything while playing to it. :) Well, if you like Korn or any other bands from that breed, (In other words, they suck -ed) then check this out. Otherwise...um, don't.  

Elisabeth  

 

 

 

LINEA 77 - AVAILABLE FOR PROPAGANDA  

EARACHE RECORDS  

This band plays poppy punk rock with an "attitude." Has nothing to do with metal at all. Supposedly they are rock stars in Italy. By the sounds of it, the mall punk rock eyeliner kiddies will love this, if they hear it.  

www.earache.com  

Mauricio Araniva  

 

 

 

LITURGY - DAWN OF ASH  

UNMATCHED BRUTALITY  

The word super-group is thrown around all too often. With Liturgy, this is not the case, THIS IS a fucking SUPER-GROUP, Matti-vocals (Disgorge/Cinerary), Mike-guitars (Brodequin), Jamie-bass (Brodequin), and Jon-drums (Foetopsy)! If you don’t have all the discs from these guy’s other bands, go get them, sell your kidney or foot on the black market if you have to. If you have them you will already be able to guess that Liturgy went out of their way to play ripping, intestinal, splatter, and bone shredding, hyper-brutal-blasting-brutal as fuck death metal. This CD is the audio equivalent of cutting off your own genitals, cutting them into pieces, just to sew them together, set them on fire, eat them, and drink gasoline until your genitals and head explode. Yes, it is that fucking brutal!  

www.unmatchedbrutality.com  

Gore Schmaggler/Suicidal Brutalizer  

 

 

 

LIVIDITY - "REJOICE IN MORBIDITY"  

IMMORTAL RECORDS  

Very fucking intense, extreme death metal at its finest! Very tight band and truly one of the sickest sounding. Yes, this band specializes in gore and perverted death metal. Some really cool intros before each song get you ready for the brutality this band has to offer. Memorable riffing, pounding drums, and some sick vocals compliment this fine release. Some of the sickest lyrics I have read in a while I think, but that is no reason to cum, is it? "Fetal Scabs" and "Orifice Reconstruction" are two intense sick songs that will make you want more!! If you can not find this release anywhere, check out the bands interview for the address.  

Mike  

 

 

 

LOCK UP - "PLEASURES PAVE SEWERS"  

Nuclear Blast  

Oh my, brutality at it's "best." Here we have a line-up consisting of Nicolas (ex-Cradle of Filth), Peter from Hypocrisy on vocals, and two of the Napalm Death grinders, Jesse and Shane. This is fast and aggressive death metal, done the death metal way. Okay, now, I think it's pretty cool that some of the riffs/songs were intended to be used for the second Terrorizer album, but I wish that they would have been used for that instead. Why? Well, what is up with all these "super-groups"? Some of you out there might like these "bands", but I for one am sick of hearing how brutal of a release all these "super-groups" can release! There are way too many of these groups that only consist of members who already have releases out and about. Do any of these labels pay attention to the quality bands that exist out in the underground, who are ten times more original than these "super-groups"? I mean come on! How greedy can one get!? I for one hate the majority of these "super-groups", and would love to see them banned! Come on fellas, let the un-known acts out there get a piece of the pie!  

Mike  

 

 

 

LORD BELIAL - THE SEAL OF BELIAL  

CANDLELIGHT RECORDS  

Who is Lord Belial? Lord Belial is different. Why are they different? They play their black metal in a pretty courageous and gutsy manner. It's often going slow to mid-pace, though there are moments of blasting speed. However, the fact the music often goes at a crawling, mid-pace means that they have to come up with good songs not to bore the listener. Whereas speed can numb the listener, slowness can bore the listener. At first, I wasn't crazy about the idea of this music, but now, after several listens, I understand what they are doing: to make songs memorable, dark, doomy, melodic in some places, by letting the strength of the songs carry the music, not the blast-beat or keyboards or anything. Sounds pretty raw, basic black metal, but played well and without fear of letting the guitars, the riffs, and the solos command center stage. Who would have thought that doomy, raw black metal, with occasional bursts of blasts would work so well? I am surprised, impressed, and interested. I think I need to find out whether the previous four releases are as good as this one.  

www.lordbelial.com  

www.regainrecords.com  

www.candlelightrecordsusa.com  

Mauricio Araniva  

 

 

 

LOST SOUL - CHAOSTREAM  

EARACHE/WICKEDWORLD RECORDS  

If Lost Soul were taking a class at Blasting Death Metal University, on this album they would earn a solid B. They have a good sound, solid blasting and then some, lots of Morbid Angel-inspired riffs, good growling and a bit of melodic soloing to add to the lot. They are a serious bunch and have definitely put in a solid effort. Sounds like in the live environment they'd come across well. It boils down to this, if you have not bought a lot of brutal death metal lately, this is the kind of band that you should listen to first and see if they are something you might like. If you like an awful lot of brutal death, this is worth investigating. On the other hand, if you are picky, you'll think this Polish bunch is good, but not worth buying yet. Keep your eye on them, though.  

www.earache.com  

Mauricio Araniva  

 

 

 

LOWBROW - "VICTIMS AT PLAY"  

(label?)  

How do you spell the sound, when you stick out your tongue and blow? However it's spelled, it's the best description for this CD. IE: IT BLOWS! Death metal that's so generic, it ought to come in a black and yellow package and be on sale at Aldi's. Death metal that's so tired, it sounds like it needs some Vivarin. This shit is so limp, not even Viagra could get it up! The time for this generic sort of music is long gone. When will people realize that DIFFERENT IS GOOD??! Ok, I am done with the cheesy cliches, but be sure to avoid this disc like a hunk of moldy Velveeta.  

Elisabeth  

 

 

 

LUCIFIXION - AS EVIL AS ME  

The band says that this e.p. is a prelude to their full-length album. This is three songs of mid-paced, chunky growled metal, with clean, operatic vocals and some mellow passages. I have heard these three songs some seven times. More than anything, this is the kind of music that is a triumph for the band for having the organization and will power to write songs and record them. Being, in and of itself, is a victory. However, this music does not get me excited because there is nothing great about it, just a bunch of guys, and gal, getting together putting together some decent jams.  

www.lucifixion.com  

Mauricio Araniva  

 

 

 

LUNARIS: CYCLIC  

ELITIST/EARACHE REC  

The first listen will go over your head, but listen to this a few times and the shades and clouds begin to move aside to reveal something worth talking about and something worth checking out. Lunaris has put together a very versatile and impressive album that showcases a lot of ability. The drumming is tight and blazing, in the best black metal sense of the word. The riffings are sharp, going from well-performed black, thrash and death. The vocals go from black metal to clean to growling and back and around again. The production on this thing is tight and polished and sharp. You can tell that this took a lot of work putting it all together. If you want me to give band references, I'd say that the spirit and mentality on here is a bit similar to Borknagar, but of course, Lunaris is not a rip off. Finally, on paper, this combination might not work, but in real life this band makes it work really well. I want to hear more.  

www.earache.com  

Mauricio Araniva  

 

 

 

LUNGBRUSH - "OLD SCHOOL, NEW SCHOOL"  

Pavement  

Lungbrush is a second or third rate cheap Machine Head copy. The "tuned down" guitar, plus the "hardcore street" feel to the music/lyrics. They are also a socially conscious band, talking about gangs and corporations. How hypocritical, then to be anti-woman. The song "Janie" is about backwards and reactionary as you can get. (How do you know that's what the song is about, Lieff?) Nice try idiots, learn to respect.  

Lieff  

 

 

 

LYZANXIA - MINDCRIMES  

REALITY ENTERTAINMENT  

Fredrik Nordström produced this album and Lyzanxia definitely pulls off the melodic metal sound that put Gothenburg on the musical map. This band is from France, but sounds like In Flames before "Clayman". I hate to sound like such a jerk because this band has some pretty cool riffs and songs, but they don’t have their own personality yet. They still sound too much like they’re playing old In Flames’ game.  

www.reality-entertainment.com  

Mauricio 

shim