Lanfear - The Art Effect
Massacre Records
11 songs (48'45)
Release year: 2003
Lanfear, Massacre Records
Reviewed by Danny
Surprise of the month

If you remember our 2002 awards, many reviewers elected DreamEvil as the surprise of the year. Even though this year 2003 is far from over, here comes a very very big surprise. At least, the best surprise for me since Dragonslayer, DreamEvil. Simply one of the best heavy/power metal band I have heard after the great Queensrÿche : I am talking of The Warning album. So my dear readers, let me introduce you Lanfear. After having lost the great Steel Prophet ... Lanfear revives our broken hearts.

The Art Effect is not the first record of the band. This German power metal band based in Heilbronn was founded end of 1993. After the release of their debut album Towers - self-produced in 1996 and finally released under the title Towers of February in 1997, Lanfear hit the street with their second album Zero Poems. Beginning of 2000 singer and keyboarder Stefan Zoerner left the band due to personal reasons ... certainly the major turning for the German band as they quickly found a great keyboarder : Richy Seibel (Charisma, Ivanhoe). Lanfear was even more lucky with their new singer, Tobias Althammer.

Having not heard Lanfear's previous work, I can only compare Tobias Althammer with other well known front vocalist. It took me a lot of time but I finally spot him : this guy is the twin brother of DC Cooper (Silent Force, ex-Royal Hunt). Actually, he sings better ... and you knows how first-class DC Cooper is. Tobias is simply unbelievable : he can do what ever he wants, when even he wants, the way you want it. Lanfear is very lucky - and can be very proud - to have such a front vocalist. When it comes to high-pitched note, Tobias will put you down on your knees, believe me. With such a vocalist combined with such an excellent song-writing, the future of Lanfear is wide and bright.

Imagine Queensrÿche from one side, Blind Guardian on the other one and you might start to have an idea of how sounds Lanfear. But it still remains a "cliché". These guys have created in The Art Effect their music, their universe, their view of how should sound an heavy/power/prog metal album these days. Their talent reminds me young Blind Guardian. Two thumbs up guy ... while I am down on my knees.

After a very soft intro, the opener Stigmatized will leave you speechless : what a power, what a sound, what a production. I will not come back on the performance of the singer as the review would become too long. The guitarist, Markus "Ulle" Ullrich is coming from another planet. The guy has written almost all the record and the number of riffs he put down on The Art Effect is the mark of a giant. The place of the keyboard inside the song-structure "opens" another perspective and perception of the music. Even though the lead guitar is very present, the bass, drum and the keyboard bring a lots of depth to their music. The more you listen to The Art Effect the more you suffer. Yes you suffer because as soon as the track is over you want to listen to it again ... but on the other hand you know that the next one is as good as the previous one.

Traces Of Infinity - the third track - is a jewel of power/speed/prog metal, with Tobias "ejecting" DC Cooper after the first verse. Whoooaaww, what a singer, what a tempo ... Symphony X being pushed back in the second division. The guitarist is furious and so is the double bass/drum rhythm. Smashed !!! This song sees the reunion of Iced Earth, Stratovarius, Symphony X and Sonata Arctica ... being at the same time a trademark, Lanfear's trademark. The album title track - The Art Effect - sees the return of Queensrÿche, boosted by the wonderful and melodic guitar riff of Ullrich. Knockout !!!

I must also mention Conscience Inc. as one of the most impressive heavy/power song I have heard since a very long time, overreaching best Steel Prophet heavy/power songs. Deeper starts with a quiet keyboard effect : then the song accelerates, decelerates again and the listener passes from one structure to another where the keyboard is the master, the guide ... and where the guitar riffs does the rest : exterminates your last defense ! Don't leave us now my dear readers as Beneath It All arrives : a heavy/power assault where the chorus will hunt you ... high and low. The Spell - 10th track - is another lesson of heavy/power/speed song-writing. I am wondering how Ullrich could found so many riffs for the same record ?!?

Enough is enough as I am loosing my vocabulary and running out of words. Buy this one, steal it if necessary ... or stay ignorant forever !!!

What ? You are still on your chair looking at your screen. Run, run now :-)

Killing Songs :
Consicence Inc., Stigmatized, Traces Of Infinity, The Speel
Danny quoted 95 / 100
Other albums by Lanfear that we have reviewed:
Lanfear - This Harmonic Consonance reviewed by Cory and quoted 77 / 100
Lanfear - Another Golden Rage reviewed by Ben and quoted 89 / 100
6 readers voted
You did not vote yet.
Vote now

There are no replies yet to this review
Be the first one to post a reply!