Lingua Mortis Orchestra – “LMO” (2013)

Label: Nuclear Blast

Review by Davide Torresan

Lingua Mortis Orchestra is the Rage‘s side-project of Peter “Peavy” Wagner. It is already happened in the past that the band decided to blend their heavy metal with the orchestrations of a real orchestra. In fact albums like “Lingua Mortis”, “XIII” and “Ghosts” have already symphonic sonorities. The collaboration with the orchestra continued and for this reason it has been founded the project Lingua Mortis Orchestra. Their first album, “LMO”, is the work of all the members of Rage accompanied by 2 orchestras, a German and a Spanish one with a total of more than 100 elements. And it doesn’t end here. The family of Lingua Mortis Orchestra includes also 2 female presences: Jeannette Marchewka and the soprano singer Dana Harnge. There is also Henning Basse (ex Sons of Seasons , ex Metalium) as guest singer.

LMO is a concept album based on the burning of witches in the German city of Gelnhausen in 1599. With these premises what could I expect from LMO? A great album, and so it was. Only a song was enough to make me fall in love with this project. The opening “Cleansed by Fire” is an epic suite more than 10 minutes long. The heavy metal of German school is perfectly mixed with some magniloquent orchestrations. Although it could be a risk to place a long suite at the beginning of the album, I can assure you that listening to this song is really exciting and captivating. Dana duets with Peavy giving birth to a well done contrast. Another epic moment is the intro of “Scapegoat” where the guitars literally duel with the string section. The song’s refrain is what of more addictive you can find in the heavy/power metal of the latest years thanks also to Henning‘s voice. Although the orchestra sound is strongly present, with no doubt there is also metal.

All the power of Rage comes back with “The Devil’s Bride”. It is to mention the singing of Jeanette who shows off a really emotional interpretation. The same thing happens in the following track but with strings in the background and voices and piano in the foreground. This sweet rhythm is interrupted by the entrance of the electric guitar, but “Lament” remains a ballad of rare beauty. “Oremus” though it has a talking part and some Dana’s vocalizations, is an instrumental song that lead us to the second part of “LMO”. “Witches’ Judge” has an overwhelming start with the violins and the guitars. Only in the bridge of the song they are replaced by an instrumental passage of the typical Dream Theater school. At the microphone, besides Peavy, there is a little part with Henning. “Eye for an Eye” sees the return of Dana‘s operatic voice which suits well to this kind of symphonic metal. “Afterglow” is the 2nd ballad of LMO and, like the first one, proves that the emotions that this group can give are a lot. The following “Straight to Hell” has a winsome groove. How I wish some other bands could learn from Lingua Mortis Orchestra! The final “One More Time” is a mid-tempo of pure power metal. The latest seconds of the song are entrusted to the sweet sound of a piano accompanied by the violins which suddenly disappear. And if the listening of the whole album had been a dream? It’s not. LMO is reality, and this project couldn’t start in a better way. I could say that this musical genre can be predictable, but I won’t. When a thing is well done you can hear it: LMO is almost perfect. And if in the next album they will add a choir? I really hope so. Meanwhile I think it is a must to get this CD!

Rating – 88/100

 

Tracklist

  1. Cleansed by Fire
  2. Scapegoat
  3. The Devil’s Bride
  4. Lament
  5. Oremus
  6. Witches’ Judge
  7. Eye for an Eye
  8. Afterglow
  9. Straight to Hell
  10. One More Time

 

Line Up

  • Jeannette Marchewka – Vocals
  • Dana Harnge – Vocals
  • Henning Basse – Vocals
  • Peter “Peavy” Wagner – Vocals& bass
  • Victor Smolski – Guitar & keyboards
  • André Hilgers – Drums

 

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