Negative Space

Label: Noise Appeal Records
Three similar bands: Holy Fawn/Moving Mountains/Pillars

Rating: HHHHHHH (4/7)
Reviewer: Daniel Källmalm
1. Hangman
2. Mute
3. Lacuna 04:30
4. You Throw Light
5. Elephant
6. Thirty One
7. Playact
8. Negative Space
9. Curtain
10. Obscura

Joel Boyd – vocals, guitar
Martin Konvicka - guitar
Matthew Prokop – drums, synths
Stefan Sieder – bass

Awake (2010)
I See Your Shadow (2013)
Reaching Over Ice And Waves (2015)


Written and produced by Lehnen
Recorded at S.T.R.E.S.S. studios by Ronald Dangl
Mixed and Mastered bat The Radar Studio by Will Benoit
Artwork by Hannah Boyd
Graphic Design and Layout by Joel Boyd

Released 2021-09-17
Reviewed 2021-08-22

noise appeal

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There is some negative space when Lehnen comes up with a new album, an album that has a pretty cool cover. Inside the cover the inspirations are drawn from genres that balance the beautiful and the heavy, and apparently, they have shared stages with many bands – not lately though. This Austrian band has been around for a while and their new press text starts by claiming that the fear of failing keeps many living in unwanted patterns, something that is very true for very many musicians.

Musically they aren’t really venturing from the common paths, they make pretty classic modern hard rock where they balance heavier and catchy stuff with more melodic stuff – making it a pretty typical modern heavy rock album. The production is modern, the sound is good, the vocalist a bit grey, the creativity a little bit lacking. I don’t really think that they explore much of what it claims, like peering into the abysses of depression and that sort of thing. Hasn’t mental health issues become a very popular topic lately? But even if it has it is a way better subject than historical battles or knights in shining armour, they keep the playing time sensible enough to prevent the listener from becoming depressed from listening to it. The variation could have been better though, the album is slightly lacking dynamics.

Negative Space is a pretty good album, or I rather think it is good. The songs are fine and well composed, what I am missing are the fresh ideas, the adventurous spirit and the excitement of a creative album. A strong hit song would also have helped this album quite a lot, but the main thing it needs is to let go of the fear of failing, bands that dare to take risks with their album usually ends up doing better. Bands that play it safe make acceptable stuff that usually ends up collecting dust, this is one of those albums destined for dust collection somewhere. That is the thing, if you want to fill up the shelves, why not just buy some second hand cheap CDs or vinyls instead?

I don’t really think this album is exciting enough to merit a real interest, it works and is very acceptable as background music in an elevator, taxi, bus or whatever – but not something you really want to listen to. I believe it is the fear of failing that holds them back, they don’t dare to excite or create something different.