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Posted: Dec 18 2009, 06:37 PM
Member No.: 1
Joined: 27-October 05
Lycan is a new Brit modern heavy metal combo hailing from Nottinghamshire and this is their debut release on Casket Records. My expectations with British metal bands be it rightly or wrongly is always set slightly low. The reason being that if I find a band I really like out of the blue, it will be a really pleasant surprise. In general I have a love hate relationship with regular Brit metal bands. The hate comes from aping the American scene just a little too closely for my liking. Although I must admit I am totally loving the UK thrash scene at the moment which I am really loving a great deal.
However Lycan are not part of that particular scene in any sense. Well they have the odd thrashy riff but in the main the band is playing music similar to bands like Lamb of God and Machine Head with a touch more melody some times. The vocals however are not of the melodic variety in the main apart from a very forced melodic style here and there on the odd chorus. I am very strict on the use of melodic vocals in general. I hate it when the singer tries to sing with melody but fails miserably. I'd rather they just stick to the regular growls and leave the "singing" to the power metallers.
So are Lycan any good you ask? Well I don't know. I'm not much use am I! This album has it's moments musically speaking. The odd memorable chorus parts reveals itself after a couple of plays. The "Machine Machine" shouts in the track Spiritus Machineus is somehow catchy and you find yourself yelling that one after awhile. That song also features a decent solo too, so kudos to the guitarist there.
The thing that I liked most about this release are some of the guitar riffs and the solos. I didn't like the vocals although they are not that offensive per se, but I just didn't warm to them. The songwriting is a little on the bog standard side as far as metal goes. They need to work on getting the songs a little catchier and memorable. They already have the instrumental know how to succeed that is for sure but there are things that need fine tuning. They tend to sometimes get in a rut riffwise with nothing much happening and the same riff being repeated ad nauseum. When they get the riffs sounding a touch more technical and still melodic it actually works quite well like at the start of Concrete Jungle which settles into a pretty tasty groove and is an enjoyable sort of tune. Brotherhood of Wolves is also a decent tune though nothing that really gets the veins bulging and therein lies the main problem with the album, the lack of real energy, though I do lay the blame for that on the slightly colourless production.
Overall this is not a bad effort in any sense. It has a few decent riffs and songs but will this be enough I don't know. Metal heads need to be wowed pretty damn quickly and Lycan are still a long way from wowing anybody I would guess. Still, for their efforts in releasing a reasonable modern metal album they should be commended. Next time it would be advisable to get a sharper production given a bigger budget of course and to tighten up the songs and maybe get a little more aggressive at times, throw in the odd double bass section and mix up the ratio of speed and groove a little more.
© Pirage Forsi
Rating *** (3.0/5.0)
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