Lava Engine
In Limbo

01. Drain Your Soul (6:23)
02. In Limbo (6:07)
03. Common Ground (4:56)
04. Ctrl Z (6:35)
05. Window Closer (6:18)

Magnus Florin (Vocals & guitars)
Ronnie Jaldemark (Guitar and keyboards)
Simon Dahlstrom (Bass)
Mick Nordstrom (Drums)

Lava Engine (2008)


Produced & Recorded by Lava Engine
Mick Nordström (mix)
CJ Grimmark (master)

Released 25/2-2011
Reviewed 18/4-2011


LLava Engine? I wonder if that's the thing that makes lava lamps do the thing they do? Or some sort of engine that use lava as fuel perhaps? Either case, 'In Limbo' is the second album from the Lava gang and the first to come at full length... or is it really? I find it quite unfunny when the information given to us reviewers isn't matching the material. The same thing happened with TotalSelfHatred and Allfader - the information about the length of the songs say one thing but the songs themselves say something else. 'In Limbo' is suppose to have five songs. That's true. The song titles also seems correct. The album title is right. But the length of the songs and album isn't - they are completely different from what the information say. Have they sent me the wrong songs and calls them by the same names? Hardly so. but according to the information it should only be one song passing the four minute marker (track four, called Ctrl Z which should be 4.16) but my track list say every song but one passes six minutes (which is the third one, called Common Ground and should be 3.25 but are in fact 4.56) and Ctrl Z ends first at 6.35.

So, instead of the 17 minutes the label promised me I got over 30 minutes of a rather doomy heavy metal with garage-sounding production. I guess I got the right album with the right songs, but why they've cocked up the information is a riddle with only one answer - global warming! Or... as big of riddle as the one asking what you'd need a lava engine for? The band consist of three men and a baby... or not. Sorry, I was looking at the wrong cover. The members of the band are four Swedish blokes that has pictured a crying female on the cover of their album. Why? Well, probably because chicks cry all the time! They cry when watching films, when you hit them, when branding them like cattle with a lava hot branding iron. They even cry when their favourite clothes are sold out in the store, if the hair dresser has made a cock up with their hair, when their car is about to get sold, if you drop an anvil on their pet... or whatever.

Anyway, let's get to the music. The first thing hitting me is the frying pan when the wife finds out I've dropped our anvil on the gold fish, or when it comes to the music the scrappy production. It sounds like the band has recorded the album in an abandoned factory and replaced the drums by hitting on tin roof and the guitars by using strings on bent tin roof parts. The vocals sounds like sung through a funnel made of paper instead of a microphone and the bass isn't even heard at all, or not much more than some short sections here and there. It's like a hobo gang has made and break and enter on a tin roof factory and taken stuff they could find to make sweet music for a dance or something. But looking at the quality of what is played and the hobo gang doesn't feel right, Unless the hobos has been professional musicians, because the quality of the music is extremely good! The fact is that I find the five songs from this Lava Lamp to be some of the most interesting songs of the year. It's too bad they haven't hired a good producer to work with the recording and material instead of the drummer of the band. It sounds cheap, scrappy and amateurish (kind of similar to this review)!

However, I do like these rather doomy heavy metal songs. The only thing bothering me is the production. I read in another webzine that the reviewer found this as progressive rock and I actually think the person that wrote that have a point in what he writes. It's not revolutionary or innovative to make an album with scrappy production and play the kind of music Lava Engine play. But somehow it just feels a bit... you know. Unexplainable, strange, unexpected... almost deep. Or something. I can't really put my finger on it.

Anyway, there are not a stream of tempo changes in the music, instead it's a stream of pretty slow flowing music. Mid-tempo or perhaps even slower. The vocalist have a comfortable voice, which go well in the slow tempo and the instruments give a grand sound. A bit too ground for the cheap sound quality unfortunately. I think a big production with a "faked" cheap sound and this would sound so good it could be criminal! Unfortunately, that's not the case. This case was filled with suits and could almost be called suitcase. Or... well, it wasn't that kind of case I meant really. I meant the case of the missing ring. This calls for a celebration...

Either case the case with the album is that it's good and unfortunately they've only made one mistake - which was to put the suits in the briefcase instead of suitcase. It's an album that feels good, but not perfect, and most things wrong is the production. However, from me this Lava Engine can drive away with an approval to be driven from the DMV. And for the next album I hope to see they've managed to get a better production with better sound quality, bigger sound and just as good material as this one had. I bet even the bitch on the cover will smile for the next one then.


Label - Liljegren Records/Connecting Music
Three similar bands - The Awesome Machine/S.N.O./Candlemass
Reviewer: Caj Källmalm