Lingua Mortis Orchestra

Label: Nuclear Blast/Warner
Three similar bands: Rage/Therion/Rhapsody
Rating: HHHHHHH (4/7)
Reviewer: Daniel Källmalm
01. Cleansed By Fire
02. Scapegoat
03. The Devil's Bride
04. Lament
05. Oremus
06. Witches' Judge
07. Eye For An Eye
08. Afterglow
09. Straight To Hell (Orchestra Version)
10. One More Time (Orchestra Version)

Peavy Wagner - vocals, bass
Victor Smolski - guitar, keyboards, cello
André Hilgers - drums
Jeannette Marchewka - vocals
Dana Harnge - vocals


Henning Basse - vocals

Produced by Victor Smolski
Co-Produced by Charlie Bauerfeind
Orchestra Arrangement by Victor Smolski
All songs composed and arranged by Victor Smolski, except “The Devil's Bride” and “Eye For An Eye” by Peavy Wagner and Victor Smolski
All lyrics written by Peavy Wagner
Recorded, mixed and mastered by Charlie Bauerfeind and Victor Smolski at Twilight Hall Studios in Grefrath/Germany
Symphony Orchestra recorded by Andrei Zubrich and Oleg Spitsynat "Oleg Spitsyn & Chermen" Studio in Minsk/Belarus
Classical Choir recorded by Vlad Kovaliov
Artwork & Layout by Felipe Machado Franco
Photos by PiaKintrup
Additional Drums Editing by Thomas Geiger
Dubstep by Lars Dietrich

Released 2013-08-02
Reviewed 2013-08-10

nuclear blast

I got to know the German band Rage through their three albums in a collection of albums called The Lingua Mortis trilogy which contained the albums Lingua Mortis, XIII and Ghosts. These albums released in the late 1990s and later on I got to know great earlier works like Missing Link and Trapped from the early 1990s and I was hooked on the band and when Unity was released I was very impressed, I also really liked Soundchaser. I have followed Rage ever since and liked most of their albums. Now they have decided to split their efforts between the more regular heavy metal and the more orchestral stuff, 21 was a bit of an indication perhaps as it was more straight ahead heavy metal than anything heard from Rage in a long time. The orchestral metal was given the name Lingua Mortis Orchestra and it is the same band as Rage but with some female vocals and symphony orchestras, two to be precise.

All music on this album is written by great guitarist Victor Smolski who was not part of Rage back in the day when the Lingua Mortis stuff was first released (he was a guest musician on Ghosts). But parts of what they did then has always remained in the sound of Rage from Unity onwards, Victor joined for the 2001 album Welcome to the Other side which preceded Unity. He had help with the music on two tracks and Peavy has written the lyrics which circles around which hunts or something like that. I don’t think that the lyrics are very prominent on this album so I didn’t really pay any attention to them as the album did not feel epic in that regard.

It is an epic album in the majestic sound accomplished when a metal orchestra meets a classical orchestra. It sounds of classic Rage attributes like their catchy choruses, Peavy’s vocals which are powerful and a bit hoarse, and the musical skills of the likes of Smolski. The album has a very classical Rage touch, a bit cheesy heavy metal which they have always done, but in a positive way as they do it right. Now it is also infused with a symphonic element, I don’t think the symphony detracts from Rage’s typical style of music though. Neither does the female vocals we here a little here and a little there during the album’s ten tracks and 65 minutes of playing time. I think it is a bit difficult to see why not just call this LMO by Rage, this is not really that different from what they have done before.

I think this is a solid release but at the same time it does not feel up to it compared to most other stuff that has been done by these guys. Sure it is the debut of the Lingua Mortis Orchestra but these guys are also Rage and as Rage they have done a lot of amazing stuff and this is not amazing by any stretch of the imagination. I think that the album is waaaaaaaay too long, and most songs are way to long as well. It should benefit from someone going in with some cutters and cutting away those many dull parts that comes in almost every track and sometime for extended periods of time. This is not as good as one would expect from these guys but somehow I didn’t expect anything so I was not disappointed, a bit surprised perhaps but it felt a bit like: well, this is what Rage as another band name can accomplish. I think it suffers from missing the most important trait of an artist, self critique. I think maybe Victor has become a bit full of himself and forgot to look at his work with critical eyes, I cannot imagine him axing anything of what he wrote for the album as it would have been a lot better if half the material was thrown away.

For this album I doubt Victor did any selection of material to keep at all, because if he did he has lost a lot of his songwriting touch that has been so good for earlier Rage albums. But that still doesn’t mean this album is bad, it just means that it is not as good as it could have been if only the higher standard material was kept. It would need a good trimming to really shine. I think that Ghosts from 1999 is a much better alternative for those interested in this kind of music.



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