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Morgana Lefay - Grand Materia (CD)

Morgana Lefay
Grand Materia
by Michael Dalakos at 13 June 2005, 6:25 PM

Every time I look at Morgana Lefay I see a mirror reflecting  Tad Morose. Let me explain. Both bands have existed for almost two decades now. Both bands have released a series of outstanding albums. Both bands have been highly praised by the press. But for some reason both bands still haven't earned the appreciation or fame they deserve. Did I forget to mention something? Oh yeah! Both bands come from Bollnδs, Sweden.
Morgana Lefay started as Damage back in 1986. They changed their name to Morgana Lefay in 1989 and released on their own their debut Symphony Of The Damned. In 1991 they recorded a demo entitled Rumors Of Rain that managed to offer them a deal with Black Mark Productions. Under this label they released Knowing Just As I in 1993. In the following years the band released its two most powerful albums (The Secret Doctrine in 1994 and Sanctified in 1995), however their big success came with Maleficium in 1996 (still most people believe that The Secret Doctrine and Sanctified are their best work to date). In 1998 the band changed its name to Lefay and released the Seventh Seal through Noise Records while in 1999 they re-recorded their debut Symphony Of The Damned. From 2001 until 2003 the band did practically nothing, apart from playing some gigs here and there. In late 2004 Morgana Lefay (once again with their full name!) started the recordings of Grand Materia in Studio Soundcreation…
And Grand Materia it is! Hm… I always had a thing about Morgana Lefay. I guess it had to do with the fact that they played ultra heavy and had a really spooky vocalist while most European Power Metal bands sounded like Pop clones of Helloween. So, how good is Grand Materia? I could summarize a description by saying: better than Maleficium or Seventh Seal but a bit weak to be compared to The Secret Doctrine or Sanctified. Though the album starts with the ultra heavy Grand Materia (what a chorus!) and keeps a really heavy pace in most of the tracks there are many moody moments where the down tempo doesn't help that much. I expected some faster songs (OK, I'm not a fan of ultra fast speed either) and at least a bit more diversity in the song writing.
Once again Tony Eriksson and Peter Grehn build a wall of solid riffs while there's not much that I can say about Charles Rytkφnen's voice. The man seems untouchable by time and his voice is a love or hate situation (personally I love it!). The bombastic production is flawless, razor sharp guitars accompanied by a crunchy rhythm section.
Welcome back Morgana Lefay, we've missed you! It's true, bands like this one (bands playing traditional and ultra heavy Metal) seem to be species under extinction. I also praise their move to sign once again with their old label, Black Mark Productions. Fans of bands like Tad Morose and… damn, I can't recall other acts sounding like this (hehe) will instantly fall in love with this one!

4 Star Rating

Tracklist:
Grand Materia
My Funeral Is Calling
Only Endless Time Remains
Hollow
The Edge
On The Other Side
I Roam
Emotional Sanctuary
Angels Deceit
The Operation Of The Sun
Blind
My Tast Is Done
Lineup:
Charles Rytkφnen - Vocals
Tony Eriksson - Guitar
Peter Grehn - Guitar
Fredrik Lundberg - Bass
Robin Engstrφm - Drums
Record Label: Black Mark
     


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