Sometimes when you write a review, you have mixed feelings. This can be, because there are contrasting elements at work, for instance good music, but a bad vocalist, or even worse; a great singer with a terrible band. But this time the mixed feelings come from the fact that a few days after Lyonite's album Disguised In Darkness landed on my desk I got the following message:
“We're sad to report that Lyonite has been suspended indefinitely. I'm using these words deliberately because you never know what the future may hold, but right now we have decided to disband. We weren't making much progress...”s the last couple of months, due to busy personal schedules and other things. After a while we realized that there were just too many hurdles on the road, personally and professionally, so to pull the plug was the only option. And trust me when I say that right now it was the only option.
We still have some merchandise left, some shirts, Albums, EP's and LP's, With discounts now ofcourse. Visit www.lyonite.com to check it out or send us a message via facebook. So if you want something to remember us by, don't hesitate to... yank our sleeves so to speak.
Finally, There are no hard feelings within the band, hence the 'you never know what the future may hold' part at the start of this post, so who knows? Maybe we'll see you somewhere down the road!
A million thanks to you for all your support over the years! It's one of the biggest clichés, but we could not have done it without you guys!
So I guess this review can be seen as a kind of obituary for what was in my opinion “a very promising band”.
Hailing from the North of the Netherlands, Lyonite was founded by drummer Mathijs Westra, keyboardist Maikel Pang Atjok and guitarist Jornt Wagenaar. A vocalist was found in Claudia Edwards van Muijen and bass player Ale Strooistra closed the ranks. After a number of live performances guitarist Jornt Wagenaar was replaced by Wolf van Weezel, and so brings us to the line-up in which this album was recorded.
It would be easy to compare this female fronted band with successful gothic influenced bands from our country, but that would just not match. Lyonite leans more towards a progressive metal style with lots of room for the instrumentalists to excel, although a band like Nightwish definitely has been of influence. Compared to the gothic rock bands Claudia Edwards van Muijen's vocals don't reach for the higher regions and aren't as dramatic. The only references are the short interludes: Mythical Interlude and Celestial Interlude, which are instrumental composition filled with bombast. Listening to the album it is really hard to pinpoint the style this band could be categorized in, therefore let's just forget that and enjoy the music. A song I really appreciate is Forgiveness, were the guitar riffs are nice and heavy, the vocals intense and the solos impressive. The song Pride has a certain similarity with Blackmore's Night, but only if Ritchie Blackmore would have picked up his electric guitar and added a metal edge to his playing. The guitar solo is very tasteful, but the keyboards are a bit too soft in the mix, and don't have the impact they should have. During Tenfold The Threshold, the balance between keyboards and guitar is better and here we can fully enjoy the full capacity of the band; melodic, technical passages in Dream Theater style go hand in hand with a power metal foundation, where Helloween sometimes comes to mind. Absolute highlight of the album is the album's epic composition; Darkness Ends. This song is perfectly built, starting softly with nice soloing and then grows into a rough, technical monster. Here the Dream Theater influences are audible again, but Lyonite gives the music a twist towards something of their own.
Too bad Lyonite has left the stage, for the musicians are very talented; keyboards and guitars are played perfectly (pity about the one mix in the song I mentioned earlier). Drummer Mathijs Westra needs to be mentioned as a special talent; his Mike Portnoy influenced chops leave you wanting for more, and the vocals are great, never over the top, but just perfect.
The only thing left to do is to buy the album and to support the individual members in everything they might be doing in the future. I hope they'll find their way back into music...it would be a real loss if they didn't.
**** Pedro Bekkers (edited by Esther Ladiges)
Where to buy?