Philadelphia-based LOR have followed up two prior demos with their first full-length, "In Forgotten Sleep", with a blend of progressive, folk and power metal. Melodic tunes, folky rhythms and furious musicianship propel this album forward in a blast of polyphonic symphony while calming down at just the right moments in anticipation of monumental bliss afterward.
Opener 'Dusk' introduces the album with flute-enhanced folk with just a hint of keyboards in the background, waiting for the moment when thunderous guitars splinter the atmosphere with torrential droplets of beauty and power mixed into one. A blistering thrashy, yet epic interruption occurs around 4 1/2 minutes in, then settles back into a passionate cry of emotional climax. 'Dark Cloud' is an upbeat tavern-stomping track of scorching riffing, power metal vocals and ever-changing song structure. Listeners won't get too settled in before being thrown sideways in a swirling, unsettling miasma...not allowing for our feet to gain traction on the ground. 'Requiem' throttles forward in a charging rhythm reminiscent of good old fashioned power metal from the glory days of the late 80's. 'The Forest' silently shimmers in with acoustic guitars in a brief interlude before 'Visions of Awakening' slams us with fever-pitched finger picking rivalling the speediest sounds ever to reach our eardrums. And the song doesn't let up. 'Song For The Lost' slows it down a little with a relaxed, beautiful melody before firing full-blast into a masterpiece of storytelling reminding me of mid-era Amorphis. Seventh track 'Aura' lets us rest awhile in a meandering instrumental before the keyboards of 'Eidelon' awaken a galloping beast of a song. 'Spectrum' rises and simmers in a satisfying number, coalescing in a myriad of splintering directions.
'In Forgotten Sleep' soothes us into the end of our journey. melding all facets of the band's sound all in one glorious song. If you crave a little more to your metal than simple barbaric tunes, you may just get what you're looking for in LOR. They'll empty your soul and breathe life back into your lungs in one fell swoop.