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Lord of Light - Morning Star

Lord of Light
Morning Star
by Emily Schneider at 17 March 2020, 8:01 PM

“And God saith, 'Let light be', and light is.” -Genesis 1:1. The entire Biblical quote is the only entry found in the "about" section of LORD OF LIGHT's social media pages. They speak little about themselves beyond their names and the instruments they play. I suppose, everything else is laid out in their intriguing debut Progressive Metal album “Morningstar”. The album came out initially in November 2019 on digital platforms, then the illusive trio was tapped by Greek record label No Remorse Records for a physical release in March 2020 and a multi-record contract followed. This album is unique to say the least, I didn't like it much after the first listen through. I gave it another try, then another and found some interesting bits along the way.

Presage” is a short instrumental intro with some pleasant riffing and cool synthy keys. “Ballad of the Righteous” is the longest track, (at nearly 9 and ½ minutes!) despite only being the second song on the album. It's quite a spectacle with lots of transitional portions, including some more synth melodies and layered vocal parts. The playing style of the electric guitar adds a Power Metal element to this otherwise very Progressive track. “History” is a short A Capella track that sounds like it was recorded in a cathedral and gives off a church choir feel. “Candlelight” has this almost unsettling intense energy when it starts. There's a chuggy ongoing riff during the verses that builds with the vocals. There's also the peculiar 5 second pauses between verses and the chorus, then between the solo and the bridge. It's kind of strange and adds to the weird vibe this song gave me, like there was a shadow looming beyond the candlelight the song is talking about.

Morningstar” is an emotional track. The first 3 minutes are pretty isolated; it's mainly a distant guitar riff and powerful vocals from Nicklas. The 3 minute mark brings in more instruments, but the focus stays mainly on the uninhibited vast vocals for quite some time. The solo that rings in at 5:30ish is the best solo on the album. Some really great melodic stuff happening on the guitar and the drums also shine as its companion. I caught some influence from ANDROMEDA near the end as well. “A Leaden Sky” is more of my favorite thing in Prog music: Synths! The style it's played in felt a bit dated, but it was still solid. It leads into the final track “Typhoon”. More synthesizer style keys guide throughout the exactly 5 minute song, although there wasn't much else worth noting about it.

In conclusion, this album was rather strange and not the “oh it's Progressive Music” kind of odd. I often felt like there was a lot happening, yet I struggled to find something to latch onto in several of the songs.  Some portions of the songs didn't seem to fit together, as if the instruments weren't playing the same song at the same time. This issue made it difficult for me to connect with the music at times, which is a massive part of the listening experience. After giving it a few listens, the main element that did consistently snag my attention was the synthesizers. Some of the melodies were very 90s Prog, which is sometimes a plus, but other times more of a “meh” response from me. On the bright side, I did find enjoyment in the two long tracks, “Ballad of the Righteous” and the title track. If the rest of the album had a similar energy and strong melodic quality like the song “Morningstar” and the cool storytelling with rad transitions like in the second track, I think this album could have been great rather than 'just solid'. This trio is obviously talented with a lot of potential that simply wasn't implemented fully on this debut. I do still look forward to hearing what's next from this mysterious light-bearing band.

Songwriting: 7
Musicianship: 8
Memorability: 7
Production: 6

3 Star Rating

1. Presage
2. Ballad of the Righteous
3. History
4. Candlelight
5. Morningstar
6. A Leaden Sky
7. Typhoon
Nicklas Kirkevall: Vocals, guitars & keyboards
Alfred Andersson: Bass guitar
Jesper Sunnhagen: Drums
Record Label: No Remorse


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