Lör
In Forgotten Sleep

So, amid my recent power/heavy metal reawakening, it dawned on me that all of the bands I have become enamored with have been European. Sure, I dabbled with the new Iced Earth, Demons and Wizards, Kamelot and a few others, but none really hit the spot.

Then I received a promo from Pennsylvania’s Lör . An unknown band to me, but a band which has been apparently tantalizing the US heavy metal underground since 2009 with 2 demos and the promise of a full length album for a while now.  And boy is the debut a doozy.

Formed by members of Prog band Ashen Waves, there is an inherent prog vibe to Lör’s sound, but it’s wrapped in an epic,  folky power/heavy metal gloss that’s a damn joy to behold. Blind Guardian is clearly the primary influence, though less symphonic, but you can hear Jethro Tull, Elvenking, Manilla Road, Hammers of Misfortune, Slough Feg, Rhapsody and the other usual folk/power metal  suspects.

11 minute opener “Dusk” gets right to it with a rangy display of the band’s evocative and varied style. Delicate folk intro, layered choruses, flute solos, acoustic segues bombastic riffs and very slight, not overbearing orchestration and keys. There’s even some extreme vocals here and scattered around other tracks (“Spectrum”, “Eidolon”) though they only arise here and there not really deviating from Tyler Fedeli’s warm, if flat but effective (the same can be said of the production) croon. No falsettos’ here.

That’s not the only mammoth track on the album as the eighth number, the 12 minute “Eidolon” delivers the same epic, varied sound, with a solo laden,  heavy prog lean, more blackened rasps and it’s utterly enthralling. These two long tracks certainly are the album’s centerpieces having a “And Then There was Silence”, “Wheel of Time” and “Grand Parade” (Blind Guardian) vibe, but the stuff in between is no chopped liver either. The band can bang out a short catchy romp as well as heard on “Dark Cloud” and  some in between numbers like the 7 and eight minute “Requiem”, “Song for the Lost” and “Visions of Awakening”, all excellent tracks. A couple of short interludes keep things even folkier, but they don’t  linger. The closing title track initially comes across as an album ending ballad, but eventually grows and climaxes into a great galloping track with a great chorus.

In summary, In Forgotten Sleep is an absolute gem of an album and one of the more impressive, independent   American heavy metal records of recent memory, and also Lör look to be one of American metal’s best kept secrets.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by E. Thomas
August 18th, 2017

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