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(57:33, SG Records)
TRACK LIST: 1. Follow the Weaver 7:49 2. Dead Man Walking 6:26 3. De Rerum Natura 7:42 4. Bogus 7:41 5. Ride the Owl 4:26 6. Avoid Feelings 6:40 7. That Night 7:04 8. Ultraworld 9:45 LINEUP: Barbara Rubin – vocals Francesco Salvadeo – guitars Lorenzo Marcenaro – keyboards Giordano Mattiuzzo – bass Andrea Mazza – drums
Prolusion. The Italian band LOREWEAVER was formed back in 2008, and hit the studio shortly after their conception to record material for their initial full length production. The end result became the CD "Imperviae Auditiones", at first self released in 2009 and then reissued in 2001 following the band signing to SG Records.
Analysis. Progressive metal is one of the driving forces of the progressive rock universe, and has been for some time now. Perhaps not in innovative scope and most likely not in terms of average quality on output, but when it comes to popularity amongst musicians and fans alike this expression is a certified leader in sheer quantity. Making an impression in the congested field of this style of music is difficult, and requires a high level of talent and skill all around which, in most cases, takes time to develop and evolve. And given time, Loreweaver might accomplish creating an album that does make an impact. But as far as this disc is concerned, it documents a band in development more than anything else. Their take on this style is one fairly conservative. Dark-toned guitar riffs as the dominating instrumental element, with steady rhythms setting pace and intensity, subtle keyboards and synths are used as a nuanced, gentler contrast, and a distinct lead vocalist given a lot of space in the arrangements. Some elements do set them somewhat apart from most others though. Their choice of a female lead singer isn't unusual these days, to put it mildly, but rather than opting for the beautiful, powerful vocalist or one with the ever popular semi-operatic delivery, Loreweaver has chosen Barbara Rubin, a singer with a sharp and subtly thin voice, a dramatic and aggressive delivery with tendencies towards a husky and rasping tone. Not a lead singer that can carry a song or a sequence all by herself, but rather one with a distinct voice that isn't that frequently encountered, at least not in the progressive metal universe. Another aspect where Loreweaver deviates ever so gently from the norm is in the structural department, as they tend to opt for compositions with a sophisticated touch or two. Multiple and ever-developing themes are a common feature, quirky riff patterns another, and the songs are liberally flavored with gentler inserts throughout as well. Dampened keyboard motifs in general and a tendency to shy away from typical majestic synth and guitar constructions is another facet worth mentioning, with one direct result accomplished by that being that they are less likely to be compared to the formative giants of this genre. Where Loreweaver still appears to have a development potential is in the subtle and not so subtle parts of the compositional work. Managing to avoid efforts like the ballad That Night to be steeped in cliches and adding life and cohesion to the dual nature of a track like Follow the Weaver the prime examples of the latter. The less than obvious is the utilization of their lead vocalist, as her voice isn't always provided with the best of foundations to highlight her strengths. Occasionally I got the feeling that some sequences had been written with another vocalist in mind, or at least a different delivery. In particular parts that appear to have been made with a powerful vocalist in mind come across as uninspired due to that.
Conclusion. "Imperviae Auditiones" is a CD that showcases a talented band that still needs to develop their craft. With many fine details throughout, and a fairly sophisticated take on classic progressive metal, they do have a bit to offer those who have an interest in progressive metal acts attempting to shy away from the most thoroughly explored parts of this universe. But the overall result is ever so slightly flawed on this occasion, a rough gem in need of further polish. An album worth seeking out by those who appreciate and enjoy listening to a band with good ideas not yet fully realized.
OMB=Olav M Bjornsen: February 15, 2012
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