Lava Engine

In Limbo

Written by: PP on 21/09/2010 21:30:51

Lava Engine have hit the nail right on the head with their approach to writing progressive rock. Instead of deteriorating the listening experience with records that last beyond the 60-65 minute mark, their two records have instead relied on a shorter format, spanning four to five songs within half an hour period. This, alongside their tendency to sound more like an alternative rock band than a progressive rock/metal band on surface at least, has won over the critics on their debut album as well as their sophomore release, "In Limbo", which is in review consideration here.

Stylistically, the band plays a very varied and versatile form of progressive rock. The instruments range from Opeth-esque, brooding and crushing distortion through Dream Theatre-inspired epic passages all the way to stuff that you'd find in any slightly more complex and non-mainstream alternative rock album. The latter vibe is fortified by their competent vocalist, whose voice will remind you of a strange split between Brandon Boyd (Incubus) and the dudes from Pain Of Salvation and Dream Theater. Maybe even Evergrey if you really pay close attention. The clean vocal delivery obviously allows for much more memorable content than if they were screamed/growled, and particularly the title track and "Drain Your Soul" both benefit from catchy harmonies to make it a joy for the listener to venture through their six minute lengths of prog rock.

But don't get me wrong. Despite its outside-of-the-box thinking and approach to progressive music, there shouldn't be any doubt in anyone's mind that "In Limbo" is still very much a progressive rock album at its core. The songs are intricate and the structures are well developed, but because of the large number of references to essentially non-progressive/experimental bands found in the mix, it ends up having a very modern and more accessible feel than most of its peers. That's an advantage since it allows Lava Engine to potentially reach audiences beyond the prog rock niché, no doubt a key reason why they receive so much critical acclaim not just in their home country Sweden, but also across the European critical media.


Download: Drain Your Soul, In Limbo
For the fans of: Opeth, Pain Of Salvation, Dream Theater, Porcupine Tree
Listen: Myspace

Release date 04.06.2010

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