Lanfear - This Harmonic Consonance
Pure Legend Records
Progressive Power Metal
10 songs (49:40)
Release year: 2012
Reviewed by Cory

When I look at Lanfear, I see a similarity to King’s X. Not musically of course, but in the sense that for having endured as a functioning band for over 16 and 24 years respectively, neither has generated as much respect and/or interest as they deserve. Now with King’s X, one can attribute that to mostly bad luck and missed marketing opportunities since the music that they have produced is every bit as iconic and mainstream worthy as band like, for example, Faith No More. On the other hand, I see Lanfear as a band that straddles an odd line between playing a safe, unthreatening brand of progressive power metal and at the same time playing it in a style that virtually no one sounds like and one that takes repeat listens to fully understand, much less appreciate. Ever since their debut album Towers (1996), Lanfear has released quality album after quality album without making much of a splash in the larger metal scene, despite a gradual fine tuning of their style to a more streamlined listening experience (compare the extremely eclectic Zero Poems (1999) to X to the Power of Ten (2008) and you will see what I mean). That aside, none of this takes away from the fact that Lanfear is a quality metal band, and the arrival of This Harmonic Consonance should be enough to get you at least interested, if not excited.

The first thing I should note about This Harmonic Consonance is that I believe it is their most accessible album to date. For the most part I found it to flow steadily from one idea to the next, without injecting too many jarring “progressive” elements that were more prominent on previous albums. As a whole, there seems to be more focus on the melodic aspects of the songs, which I think served to help close the gap between the album and its listeners. Opener Colours of Chaos (following an intro track) is an excellent tune, delivering a pleasingly heavy riff oriented start before slowing its tempo to allow for a more melodic and memorable chorus. I would like to note here that while each member is terrific at their respective instrument, and the vocals are engaging as always, the real standout for me is the drumming. Diverse and creative, it takes a special skill to stand out in a genre that is dominated by excellent drummers to the point that we often simply take it for granted. The next track, By-Product Nation, has the feel of a single meant to hook in the random listener, and in that endeavor it succeeds by being a rocking and memorable track. The Reverend is my personal favorite on the album, and one I hope they play live when I see them. Sprawling and with numerous little moments of creative ingenuity, this song to me exemplifies what elevates Lanfear into a higher tier of bands; just quality song writing with a style that no one else can duplicate. At nearly eight minutes in length Idiopathic Discreation is the longest song on the album, but unfortunately I just don’t get as much from it and I usually skip it. Camera Silens is a more aggressive song that works well, and I, Robo Sapiens is a more melodic standout. On the other hand, Spectrophobia is a bit too unbalanced for me to enjoy, and Word Not Spoken takes too long (2 minutes) to get going, even though it finish’s out with some interesting guitar work. The title track closes things out on a high note, getting back to the sound that has carried the album up to this point.

All in all, I find This Harmonic Consonance to be another enjoyable Lanfear album. I still don’t think they have quite hit one out of the park yet in terms of delivering their “masterpiece”, but perhaps that simply isn’t who Lanfear is. Maybe they are just one of those bands that will continue to deliver quality album after quality album for their dedicated fan base, and there is certainly enough of those fans out there if the band has been able to survive and prosper this long. Lanfear is an acquired taste, and those that have it or those that are willing to give them a try should find plenty to enjoy here.

Killing Songs :
Colours of Chaos, By-Product Nation, The Reverend
Cory quoted 77 / 100
Other albums by Lanfear that we have reviewed:
Lanfear - Another Golden Rage reviewed by Ben and quoted 89 / 100
Lanfear - The Art Effect reviewed by Danny and quoted 95 / 100
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