The Code Inherited


The realm of Progressive Metal is all about thinking outside the box and doing things […]
By Ofer Mashiach
October 3, 2016
Lanfear - The Code Inherited album cover

The realm of Progressive Metal is all about thinking outside the box and doing things differently. On one hand, some bands take it to the extreme and play above the heads of the listeners, infusing elements and twists until one's ears start to bleed. On the other hand, many bands tend to regurgitate tried and proven formulas that eventually amount to heaps of clichés that verge on boredom. The golden path lies somewhere in between. There should be mentioned that in the extreme side of the scale, musical progression is inherent in the very substance of genres like Technical Death Metal and the Djent movement but, to me, mainly as show-off of skills and the artistic value is somewhat in question.

So where does LANFEAR's newest release "The Code Inherited" find us?

They formed in 1993 in Germany and this is their seventh full-length. Their style is rather melodic yet powerful, and their more straightforward approach makes for an easily accessible Progressive Metal with a crystal clear production. One can easily follow what's going on in here and, as simplistic as it may seem at first, there's quite a lot going on. The first thing I would like to highlight is the vocal performance; Nuno Fernandes is a decent singer with a rich mid-range voice who can belt occasional high-pitched screams when needed. He never sounds too mellow or too aggressive, but I would like to hear him challenged more. The album starts with the droning chords and eerie keyboards of "The Delusionist", and then the guitars riffs and drumming kick in. The verses are fast and storming, but things slow down in the melodic chorus. A nice opener, neither more nor less. "The Opaque Hourglass" starts with an edgy guitar that leads to a fast Power Metal riff and here, too, the chorus is catchy and melodic and the guitar solo is good and memorable. "Evidence Based Ignorance" is somewhat a filler, a slower, rather monotonous song where nothing interesting happens, at least until 3/4 into the track where the excellent solo kicks in. But that outburst is not lasting and subsides quickly. The title track comes next, and it could be considered as LANFEAR's version of DREAM THEATER's "The Great Debate". Here goes again that same story of breaking the human genetic code and its impact upon our civilization. It's also the longest track on the album, clocking just less than 11 minutes, and is at least 4 minutes too long. The instrumental passage in the middle is boring and tiring. That seems that band has more potential than meets the eye, but they tiptoe and fail to dare, which probably accounts for their relative anonymity. Their music is not branded and they could be easily mistaken for another band.

The album continues with "Self Assembled" deals with the personal issues of unchaining oneself from the throes of the past, looking ahead towards a brighter future of bolstered confidence and self-esteem - and so does the music. It evolves as the song goes along and well reflects its main theme. "Converging Saints" is arguably the zenith of this album, highlighting the strengths of the band members in all aspects - it starts with fast drumming (which is suspiciously reminds me of the middle section of DREAM THEATER's "Fortune in Lies") and then moves into strong riffs, producing the metal effect in full force. That's the daring attitude I've been looking for up to this point in the album. The singing is much more diversified and melds with the changes of mood and pace. The solo in here is beautiful and the keyboards yield tones of imminent doom, making it dark and dramatic. "Remain Undone" is a melodic, slower affair, engraved in my memory only for the cool middle section of bass line and somewhat bluesy guitar solo. The album closes with "Summer of '89", a solid rocker that serves as a decent epilogue.

The bottom line is that "The Code Inherited" is an easily digestible, solid release. It dwells both in the Progressive and Power Metal territories but excels in neither. Prog fans might find it lacking in terms of progression, while fans of the latter might find it a neuter Power Metal, if anything. Fans of ANUBIS GATE and ELDRITCH will feel at home with this one.<

7 / 10









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"The Code Inherited" Track-listing:

1. The Delusionist
2. The Opaque Hourglass
3. Evidence Based Ignorance
4. The Code Inherited
5. Self-Assembled
6. Converging Saints
7. Remain Undone
8. Summer of '89

Lanfear Lineup:

Nuno Miguel de Barros Fernandes - Vocals
Markus Ullrich - Guitars
Jurgen Schrank - Drums
Richie Seibel - Keyboards
Kai Shcindelar - Bass

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