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Lost Symphony - Chapter III Award winner

Lost Symphony
Chapter III
by Kevin Lewis at 19 July 2021, 2:07 PM

LOST SYMPHONY has been busy. Three releases in under two years, all of which contain multiple guest performances, primarily on guitar. “Chapter III” was released July 9, 2021 via XOFF Records. Combining power and progressive metal with modern classical music, this project is a true fusion of genres that amaze and astound in equal parts.

First and foremost, the guest appearance list is an absolute who’s who of musicians. Representatives from some of the greatest metal bands join in to make a massive record that defies convention. ALL THAT REMAINS, TESTAMENT, MEGADETH and EXTREME, plus a lot more all contributed to this work. With friends like those, legendary does not even begin to describe the sounds you hear here.

“Denial Of Anger” is the lead track. At just under 10 minutes, it’s the second longest song on the record. Starting with some ominous keyboard tones and eerie strings, the intro sets a mood. With two former members of MEGADETH on this track, you might expect a thrash vibe, but there is none of that. Instead, you get a piece that feels solidly power metal. The guitars all weave in and out and around each other while the rhythm propels the song along.

Track two “Bargaining Depression” has a shorter, but equally impressive intro. While completely different, the intro again uses ominous tones and ambient strings. The guitars are slower to start here, but quickly build to an epic. The contrasting tones and ranges offset each other brilliantly. All of this happens while the keys set a mood and emphasize the theme of the song. I do hear a bit of DREAM THEATER in this song, specifically from “Scenes From A Memory”. Some of the phrases are similar, bringing about fond memories for me.

The shortest song on the record is “Acceptance,” the only song under five minutes. This song begins with somber piano music before the guitars gently work their way in. Melancholy and sadness follow. Acceptance is usually about coming to terms with something, whether that is loss or grief or defeat. There is also the ability to get up and move on after dealing with the grief, and this song provides those feelings as well. The uplifting strings and soaring guitars give hope for the future.

Just under 11 minutes, “Decomposing Composers” is the longest song on the record. Early on, the strings are frenetic and almost nerve wracking. The guitars are heavier here than on all the previous songs combined. This also has the most prominent classical sound, despite being heavier than all the other tracks. This is the true fusion of classical and metal. The only way to really describe this song is in single words: WOW! AWESOME! EPIC! This is what LOST SYMPHONY was born to be and do.

Take Another Piece” again slows down for the intro. No less than four Guitar Gods contribute to this song. The harmonizing guitar work, the divergent guitar work and the layers of guitar work all mesh so precisely that it is hard to believe this was likely recorded in separate studios around the world. Considering there was a pandemic affecting the ability of these musicians to get together in one place, the fact there is not a single note out of place really emphasizes the extreme amount of talent possessed by the individual artists.

The final track is possibly the most discouraging. This is the only track to feature Oli Herbert on this record. With his untimely death still hurting the hearts of his fans and friends, the title “My Last Goodbye” will strike fear in them. They will wonder if this is the last new Oli they may ever hear, though they all hope there is more somewhere, waiting to be released. As sad as it could be that this may be the last of his recordings, the song is uplifting. This is the sound of someone receiving their just rewards at the end of a journey.

LOST SYMPHONY brings raw power and precision to both the classical and metal genres. Without a word, you feel everything on this record. The music evokes feelings, and your mind adds text to the tones. You think about what the song makes you feel. This is an incredible feat. This is not just an instrumental album; it is a journey to be taken where the memories you experience are uniquely yours. Every listener has a unique experience, yet they all are experiencing this together.

Chapter I” and “Chapter II” were both really good, but “Chapter III” has eclipsed them both. This is just my opinion. Listen to all three and make your own decision. This record took me on a personal trip without ever leaving my couch. I’m not always a fan of instrumental records as they are often meant to showcase one musician and instrument. This is different. This is a collaborative effort that is so much more than just an instrumental record; this is a work of art, a thing of beauty.

Songwriting:  10
Musicianship:  10
Memorability:  10
Production:  10

5 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Denial of Anger (feat. Marty Friedman, David Ellefson, Jimi Bell and Matt LaPierre)
2. Bargaining Depression (feat. Marty Friedman, David Ellefson, Joey Concepcion and Jimi Bell)
3. Acceptance (feat. Alex Skolnick, Angel Vivaldi and Richard Shaw)
4. Decomposing Composers (feat. Jeff Loomis, Jimi Bell, Matt LaPierre and Joey Concepcion)
5. Take Another Piece (feat. Marty Friedman, Nuno Bettencourt, Alex Skolnick and Richard Shaw)
6. My Last Goodbye (feat. Oli Herbert, Matt LaPierre and Ryan Formato)
Lineup:
Benny Goodman – Multi instrumentalist
Brian Goodman – Composer/Arranger
Cory Paza – Bass/Guitar
Paul Lourenco – Drums
Kelly Kereliuk – Guitar
Siobhán Cronin – Violin/Viola/Electric Violin
Record Label: Xoff Records
     


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