Label: Nuclear Blast Records
By: TJ FOWLER
So, metal bands’ doing the orchestra thing is a thing now right? We have Avantasia doing it, we have Manowar who has done it (of course Manowar do a lot of things) and now we have members of RAGE doing it with Lingua Mortis Orchestra. I have always found that the metal bands using the 100 piece orchestras seem to be doing such things to try and ‘prove’ how legitimate they are to others outside of the metal community and that they are really a sophisticated band and deserve respect damn it! In other words sometimes I feel they are trying to over compensate for something and this all seemed to have started with when Metallica did the S&M thing…and well my hatred for Metallica needs to be saved for another time. So how does Lingua Mortis Orchestra measure up? Do we have some legitimate music here that deserves to be heard or do we have, what I feel a lot of these orchestral affairs contain, a lot of pomp and ego stroking? Well, maybe a little of both…let’s dissect this cadaver and see what it’s made of shall we!!!
‘LMO’ contains 8 tracks and most of the tunes hit at least the 6 minute mark some well over this. This makes me lean towards the attitude that the band is a little full of itself and wants to really emphasize the ‘pomp’ that comes with these orchestral affairs. Over bloated song lengths that really don’t lend much to the song itself. We have female vocals spread throughout the songs on the album mixed with a male singer as well. The female singer is very reminiscent of Tarja Turunen and is to be expected for something orchestral like this.
The songs subject matter focuses on witch hunts and historical matters that have taken place in Germany’s colourful history and which make me lean towards a more metal attitude the band wants to strive for. Also the guitar work on the album is more aggressive than in most metal orchestra’s I have heard and have a bite to them that is a welcome addition to the songs presented on the album. To me this is the big saving grace of the album. Instead of the band trying to sound silky smooth to go along with the orchestral band behind them, they crank the heavy guitars instead that gives what otherwise would be a standard album a good heavy bite.
However, due to a lot of the songs length I feel the album loses some of its bite and edge for the sake of having songs that are a bit overindulgent. The musicianship, lyrical themes and heavy guitars are all positives you will find on ‘LMO’, however if you want something a little bit more straightforward and to get the blood pumping in a metal rage, ‘LMO’ might still be a bit tame for you.
Peavy Wagner | vocals, bass
Victor Smolski | guitar, keyboards, cello
André Hilgers | drums
Jeannette Marchewka | vocals
Dana Harnge | vocals