Tuesday, August 16, 2016
Daniel Lioneye: "Vol. 3 "
The solo band of H.I.M guitarist Linde Lindstorm, takes out the bulk of the cheese that was stinking up the later H.I.M albums. Said to have been more influenced by black metal than his work with H.i.M, I'll say it's heavier but not black metal. The vocals are baritone croon, not far from what Vile did in H.I.M, just less gasped and over accented. It's right at the border of metal and hard rock for me. H.I.M often referred to their sound as "love metal" which was another way for saying we make music for girls and sissy boys. This is not as sissy boy as Linda former band, but if you are a regular reader here then chances are this won't cut it as metal for you regardless of how many times they opened for Cradle of Filth. Judged on it's own merits as hard rock, its pretty decent.
The drumming is pretty solid here. I like the vocals to "Break it or Heal it" more than the opener. Lyrically there is something about reading a suicide note, which I'll take over a love song any day. His Finnish accent makes it more interesting than American radio rock. Some electronic elements lead into the harder double drive of "Licence to Defile". The vocals take a little of the riff's edge off. Sax comes in and the songs gets weird but maintains it's drive. There is a darker power ballad like feel to "Ravensong". Now they are left of metal and in alternative rock. This song is not bad, the fact the vocals are grunge flavor yet tasteful helps. I am halfway into this song wondering when the goth is going to come. Instead what we get are some proggy keyboards and a pretty solid guitar solo.
They take a heavier turn on "Alright" and come closer to their black metal aspirations. The clean vocals returns, but the melodic sections are not as compelling as the previous songs. "Aetherside" which you can check out below, demonstrates when these guys best balance out their moody rock with keen songwriting focus that gives the song more balls than your average power-ballad, but not forcing themselves to get more metal than they are really most comfortable doing. I like how the vocals come in and sit over the heavier riff of "Dancing With the Dead". There is more industrial groove metal like attack to the onset of "Oh, God In Your Great Mercy". This is another song where the juxtaposition of the more laid back vocal melody against the more pounding riff works well. It almost sounds like Dinosaur Jr jamming with Fear Factory.
"Mathematics of the Storms" kicks of with a riff that begs to have an insane guitar solo soaring out of it , but instead they go to the tried and true loud to soft dynamic and ebb down into verse. The vocals are not delivered in a metal or even hard rock fashion on this song and many other points in the album. The album closes with "Neolithic Way" which aside from the screamed sections would not be out of place on an Alice in Chains album. The chugged groove of the verse is pretty effective and I was not expecting the harsher vocals to come in there. The clean singing might dominate this album, but the harsher vocals are not always used in the most obvious places on this album, so over all they should be commended for showing a great deal of restraint in this and dialing the cheese way back from where it got to be with H.I.M, I'll give this album a 9.