Someone opined a few days ago that the musical buck stops once you cross the alps and go South. In this guy’s august take on the scene, only classical music remains. But rock, folk and – for sure – metal take a nosedive to nothingness once you start cruising along the Po. And truly so, things change indeed, but not quite this way. From German precision, French bonhomie or the British stiff upper lip and lukewarm beer, you change into a more laid-back realm. But this does not mean non-existence of modern music, bad quality or – Loki forbid – a lack of intensity. Quite the contrary.
So, I am not sure if I should laugh or cry, because this eclectic exclamation is the handiwork of a specialist. Well, perhaps he just had a bad hair day, who knows? Because for some reason, the mighty RockmusicRaider database is full of great bands from Italy, Spain, Portugal, Greece, Cyprus and – indeed – the Levant. Fleshgod Apocalypse, Moonspell or again Scardust are just three of them bands that pop up in my mind right off the bat.
The Italians from Lenore S. Fingers and their sophomore concoction All Things Lost on Earth neatly fit into this group. Self-proclaimed Gothic Rock and Metal, their style oscillates between light Doom, Avantgarde and – for sure – Progressive Rock and Metal. Indeed, their tune boasts quite a few traits of gothically tainted Evanescence, but eternally reminds me of the mature productions of Moon Haven and their ilk. With a distinct stubbornness and set of smoky tones found in concoctions Dolores O’Riordan used to produce. But here’s the kicker: All Things Lost on Earth is what the woozy Darkher of 2016 should have sounded like. There would be no questions as to its metallic credentials. Nor would there be any other debate about the record being on the blog at all.
Compared to the band’s 2014 firstling Inner Tales, Lenore S. Fingers lost a lot of their doom this time around. And in its wake you will detect a subdued, yet strangely nonambiguous melancholy that still remains. All this settles into a distinct change in sound, which sends this album on a slightly different course than its predecessor. All Things Lost on Earth gets you the ambient acoustics of many folk outlets, thoughtful lyrics in an Avantgarde setting, just to disintegrate into the meaty beat true metal fans crave. In short, Lenore S. Fingers presents a very complex amalgam of styles. A much heavier yet juicily alluring set of earthy tones that you will have difficulty to put down.
Anna Murphy (Cellar Darling, ex Eluveitie) got on board with her impressive skills on keyboard and archaic instruments – as is showcased in Luciferines for example. Soundfarm Studios in Lucerne / Switzerland and Black Art Studio in Liestal / Switzerland placed a primordial role in recording some of that stuff and in the mixing and mastering efforts. And indeed, I have trouble taking issue with the production piece.
However, no success would be possible without the astute contribution of Federica Lenore Catalano, the band’s front woman. Her singing style really breathes this somewhat ethereal life and soul into All Things Lost on Earth. Yet, their tune does get a tad repetitive after Epitaph, and the singer often hits them airwaves with a slightly unmodulated and monotone performance. So much so that some of the later tracks suddenly risk to step into dusty realms of Background Radio. Whilst the listener struggles to keep the attention levels in the green sector.
Yet, All Things Lost on Earth really convinces straight off the start. No silly intro, but I am Snow is like a melancholy shot of old Tequila. Straight up and mighty strong. This just whets the appetite for the two straight 10/10 tracks Lakeview’s Ghost and Rebirth. Exceedingly complex, yet insanely tasty for those with a penchant towards progressive colors. I can also heartily recommend Ever After with its surprising blast beats and the somewhat eclectic Epitaph with its pretty astute, albeit short solo.
In the end, All Things Lost on Earth continues seamlessly from Inner Tales to slightly similar and – I daresay – juicier shores. Darker and more complex in concept, yet meatier in execution, Lenore S. Fingers managed this difficult task to preserve their band identity. Yet the record still offers way enough change to jack interest levels up that will make you go for seconds. Thus, they avoided the dreaded sophomore cliff that spelled disaster for so many other bands. A band with a future for sure. Oh, and give yourself some time to listen to this disk, complexity warrants patience, after all. I – for one – already look forward to their next outpouring of goodness.
All Things Lost on Earth releases on 23 March 2018.
Editor’s note: The album successfully made it onto the 2018 Top 10 Records list. Congrats!