Review by Warren Mayocchi
With the introduction of electricity the sounds available to musicians expanded, over time popular music moved from acoustic bands to the new sounds generated by electric guitars, keyboards and everything else. In recent years we have witnessed the growth of the internet and, in particular, social technology. While there has already been a massive impact – with digital music distribution – other impacts are yet to be fully realised. The business side of music production is being altered as we watch. The marketing and making of music can now be a much more personal activity. You can interact with your favourite bands on social media, you can help fund the new album for an artist through crowd funding. Critically this means that though a band may only perform in their local area, their fans can be anywhere on the planet. In 1985 the Live Aid concert was special because it was a global event. Thirty years onward and now we have a global event every time we use our internet connected screens.
Lyria is one of many bands who have used the social business model quite effectively. I should reveal my potential bias as a reviewer, in that I contributed to the crowd funding campaign for their debut album – “Catharsis”. My name is listed in the album booklet as a supporter along with the others who took part in the campaign. That was one of the perks that the crowd funding campaign provided to contributing fans.
Lyria are based in Brazil and they created the album the band with their three permanent members: mezzo-soprano Aline Happ, bass player Thiago Zig and drummer Eliezer Andre. An additional guitar player joins the band when playing live and various musicians joined the band in recording their album. I know that they are kept busy promoting their music and performing local shows through their Facebook site. They work hard at staying engaged with their worldwide fans posting short videos, photos, and so on. To be successful though they have to be able to backup all this social media work with great music.
So, is “Catharsis” good enough without the social media experience? Certainly. More than good enough, here is the product of a passionate band. Lyria classify themselves as symphonic alternative metal. The song “Jester” has an accompanying video, so it can be considered as the first single of the album. It is reasonably representative of Lyria, a group who make good use of their instruments and the vocals of Aline. Beyond the base sound of the band there are minimal symphonic effects – they are very effective when they are used. Examples are the flute on “What Do You Want From Me” and then on “Insanity” there are extremely well used operatic vocals and string effects. On “Catharsis” there is a good variety in the sound – a harsh vocal line throughout “The True War”, acoustic guitars in “Craven”, a spoken passage in “The Phoenix Cry”. All of the songs are unique with great heavy and melodic riffs combining with interesting lyrical phrases. My favourite song is “Light and Darkness”, I love the heavy rhythm driving this song along.
There is a rawness in the sound of Lyria, but this helps “Catharsis” reach out and elicit an emotional reaction in the listener. You cannot get this type of well produced raw passion in many albums. Lyria show they have talent on “Catharsis”, I hope that you support them because, very selfishly, I want to hear where they go from here.
Rating – 88/100
- The True War
- The Phoenix Cry
- The Phoenix Rebirth
- Light and Darkness
- What Do You Want from me?
- Aline Happ – Vocals
- Thiago Zig – Bass & Vocals
- Eliezer Andre – Drums