Lor
Edge of Eternity


4.0
excellent

Review

by Mitchell D. W. CONTRIBUTOR (62 Reviews)
May 27th, 2020 | 15 replies


Release Date: 05/15/2020 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Raise the flags; it's time for war.

What some films of the 1980s may have lacked in terms of meticulously-designed cinematography and other fine details, they compensated for immensely by featuring an undeniable charm, or that ‘cheese’ factor that is regularly discussed. A flick such as Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure or a classic Schwarzenegger like Commando isn’t trying to be high art necessarily; the goal is to provide a swift, entertaining, and at least somewhat well-produced escape into a surreal reality—there’s no way that mountain of a man avoided all those bullets, for instance. However, such oddities are performed with a sly smirk and a wink to the audience, the movie acting self-aware and being perfectly understanding of the game it’s playing. Accessing any given power metal record, therefore, I have set expectations seeing how that particular genre is associated with ‘cheese’ more than any other assemblage of bands. When those soaring power chords and uplifting melodies inevitably hit, it should be possible to immediately conjure up a sword in my hand, find a nearby horse, and charge into the nearest conflict against [insert mythical foe here] (or Russians, to keep with the 1980s theme). If the correspondingly guaranteed tenor vocals do not imbue sufficient strength to conquer Middle-Earth, then there’s simply no point in forging ahead. To truly illustrate the environment properly and finalize that escape, extra ingredients are needed to cement the fantasy, be it a smidgeon of folk inspirations to recall the medieval era or overpowering symphonics to simulate a grandiose, magical drama. The first notes of Lor’s newest offering, EP Edge of Eternity, venture to check off as many boxes as possible:

A galloping, almost nauseatingly-melodic riff that easily suits an appropriate soundtrack into battle? Such a motif is immediately on display in the immediacy of opener “Upon a Withered Heart.” It’s practically impossible to not see banners flapping in the wind.

What about a fittingly authoritative singing performance? More of a baritone or 2nd tenor than a true tenor, the clean tones of lead vocal contributor Tyler Fedeli sufficiently demand the attention of the listener. Factor in smooth, layered harmonies and a sprinkling of harsh vocals, and this section is crossed off easily.

The inevitable mozzarella covering ties the package together; orchestration resonates in the background—the horns of war, releasing the legions—while the keys of Matt Bartlett quietly inject an extra atmospheric touch.

True to the general modus operandi of power metal, the aforementioned traits endure throughout the 30-minute duration of the release, each characteristic accentuated in an operatic fashion. The production quality, in this regard, may initially be uncomfortable in how loud the mix becomes and its very forward nature. Seen from a separate perspective, this is where Edge of Eternity shines; it is as unpretentious as possible, its intentions made more than clear in the fast-tempo rocker “A Life Once Known.” Dashing straight for the listener at the behest of furious percussion, the energetic number sports a memorable central guitar passage and a gigantic chorus, its resonating harmony shining gloriously, the end result not being far removed from a Power Quest odyssey. Brief acoustic escapades are provided time to shine while their electric counterparts race around in explosive solos. The oft-forgotten bass, too frequently left to languish in silence, has a prominent role by offering a heavy sound to buttress fellow instruments and increase their impact. What makes this tune and the introductory track succeed is made more flexible by “Ruin.” Rather than settling into a status quo of speed-infused entries, the Philadelphia collective endeavor to differ their approach so that their methodology does not become stale—something made readily apparent by the much more gradual progression established by the ominous keys and darker mood. Considering the song’s length and positioning as the centerpiece of the record, it unsurprisingly features a variety of portions ranging from hefty chugging, urgent motions spearheaded by the guitars, and instances of reserved strumming to interrupt the bedlam. With the supporting harsh vocals coming out in force, “Ruin” shapes up to be a titanic formation that crashes down like a wave of oncoming foes.

The greatest change discovered on the EP presented is the purely folk-inspired “Relic.” Formerly a comparatively minute influence on prior songs, the classification acts as the number’s chief guide, graceful acoustics and restrained, choir-esque vocals quietly operating in a more somber setting, the keys droning on remorsefully nearby. With the tune’s existence winding down, the band returns in full once again, the bombastic compositions of resident axe-wielder Peter Hraur erupting out the gloom and coloring the scene in glowing hues. This functions as an excellent bridge into the epic eponymous track, where the earlier rapid assaults control proceedings. When time expires and the brief Edge of Eternity fades into nothingness—the DVD having run its course—perhaps the only remaining reservation is that constantly lingering sensation of deja-vu, since the contents of this cheddar-based product are not precisely what could be defined as novel. What tends to win out in these regards is exactly how exciting it feels to access the album in question or the way in which it is arranged. Thus, though lathered in enough action clichés to sign Sylvester Stallone as the top-billed actor, Edge of Eternity is simply a blast to experience. There is plenty to digest for fans of all preferences, with a sizeable chunk of adrenaline-pumping romps available to satisfy those wanting to feast upon thrilling guitar work and polished melodies. Their counterparts can find equal merit in the patient build-up of “Ruin” or the similarly leisurely, folksy stroll of “Relic.” In a manner akin to their silver screen brethren, Lor’s output as heard here may not be destined for roaring acclaim due to its barrier of entry—needing to be in on the charade. Anyone willing to open up to the EP will be headbanging, sword-swinging, dancing, and singing along every step of the way.




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user ratings (18)
3.7
great

Comments:Add a Comment 
MarsKid
Contributing Reviewer
May 27th 2020


11258 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Cheese time, my friends. This is a great, solid collection of tunes. Worth a jam, or two, or however many feel right.



Stream on bandcamp: https://halloflor.bandcamp.com/album/edge-of-eternity



Album also available on Spotify



Comments, criticism, [insert discussion topic here] all welcome.

Elynna
May 27th 2020


502 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

This would be an easy 4.5 if the production wasn’t so bad. Also don’t miss out on the debut if you enjoyed this one!

Digging: NEPTUNIAN MAXIMALISM - ons

MarsKid
Contributing Reviewer
May 27th 2020


11258 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Yeah, the production isn't too forgiving, but I don't think it poses that harsh of an obstacle.

TheNotrap
Contributing Reviewer
May 27th 2020


14455 Comments


Great review, your '80s cheese' first paragraph is quite good.
Jamming now. The mix is screaming everywhere but I'm enjoying it.


Digging: Aseitas - False Peace

MarsKid
Contributing Reviewer
May 28th 2020


11258 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I think the overall product is such that the production doesn't hinder it to an extreme, though I can understand that it is off-putting.

Elynna
May 28th 2020


502 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Well deserved feature!

Panzerchrist
May 28th 2020


480 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

Excellent review for an excellent EP. This one's been getting a lot of spins lately.

Digging: Protest the Hero - Palimpsest

ChoccyPhilly
May 28th 2020


12407 Comments


Damn this looks great, I'll give it a shot

Digging: Dawn Of Ashes - The Antinomian

Dedes
May 28th 2020


7156 Comments


On a scale ranging from Dragonforce to Twilight Force how hard does this fuck

alamo
May 28th 2020


2914 Comments


might check this i really liked their album

this cover was a choice though

Dedes
May 28th 2020


7156 Comments


What's with the big titty av's man
Is that you Alamo ?

MarsKid
Contributing Reviewer
May 28th 2020


11258 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

It is a cover that screams power metal, for sure.

Essence
May 29th 2020


6384 Comments


holy fuck Edge of Eternity is one of the best metals song I've heard this year

MarsKid
Contributing Reviewer
May 29th 2020


11258 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Mighty big claim to make, but glad you enjoy it! "Ruin" is most likely my favorite cut off of this.

neekafat
Contributing Reviewer
May 30th 2020


19628 Comments


I just keep seeing the Killing of a Sacred Deer poster



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