'Chapter II' Review: Lost Symphony's sophomore album depicts extravagantly theatrical tale on apocalyptic level
The band's 'Episode I' received widespread critical acclaim and love from fans, and now, their new album rides the same tidal wave of impact and seeks to raise the bar even further
Classical metal outfit Lost Symphony is back with another album. It may come as no surprise that the dedication showed by Lost Symphony in their debut album, 'Episode I', is immediately carried over into its follow-up. Titled 'Episode II', their sophomore album arrives just months after their debut LP, and is scheduled for a release on Friday, October 16.
Upon its release, 'Episode I' soon received widespread critical acclaim and love from fans, especially notable for its refreshing take on fusing classical and heavy metal music. Outlets such as BraveWords said the album has "taken the scene by storm". Now, for their new album, 'Episode II', rides the same tidal wave of impact and seeks to raise the bar even further - a solid transition between two records.
Lost Symphony, founded by multi-instrumentalist and producer Benny Goodman, includes the ensemble of Goodman's brother Brian who helms compositions and arrangement, and members Cory Paza (on bass, guitar), Kelly Kereliuk (guitar), Paul Lourenco (drums) and Siobhán Cronin (violin, viola, electric violin). Additionally, 'Episode II' recruits a formidable set of virtuosos as guest artists such as Conrad Simon, Marty Friedman, David Ellefson, Jeff Loomis and more.
"Primarily composed before, yet eerily perfect for the age of the Pandemic, the eight-track opus strains beauty through aural apocalypse," aptly describes a press statement for the album. 'Episode II' kicks off in both grandeur and dramatic tragedy with its opener, 'The World Is Over'. Alternating between sweeter vibrant notes and darker chords, the piano intro unveils the curtain to darker warnings as if charmed by the Phantom of the Opera himself. The song then magnifies its theatrics with distorted guitars that scream out their harmonies, a web of guitar solos that would get any metal enthusiast on the edge of their seat, and a magnificent swell of emotion like a beast unchained and untamed.
Move on to 'Negation Delirium' and the sounds become more resounding. With a hot-blooded strings intro that sounds like it's taken straight out of an action film, guitars are then struck hard with suspended chords and the sequence quickly runs rampant and epic.
With tracks like 'The Garden of Earthly Delights', the album also hints at a sense of joy found in an apocalyptic world, or the overcoming of in such an experience. The longest track on the album at nine minutes in length, the song tells a story and grips you to listen. 'The Garden of Earthly Delights' scales between half-beat rhythms, double-tempos, illustrious guitar shredding, solos and melodies that sweep through the entirety of the song, and the whole affair begs you to keep the song on repeat to decipher every skillful play of the instruments.
Lost Symphony also know a heavy metal album isn't complete without a showcase of musical gymnastics. Like the aforementioned number, the uptempo 'Leave Well Enough Alone' offers you all the guitar wizardry and double-bass beat drumming to your heart's content.
The album's first single 'Conflagration', which features the late Oli Herbert, Matt LaPierre and Conrad Simon, ignites with a firestorm of rapid soloing over a hammering beat before the shredding subsides into an ominous cry. Benny Goodman said, “When I hear the song, I just think of the whole world burning,” adding, “Basically, the guitar players are getting us out. It has the most testosterone. It was literally blowing up my speakers like a ‘Conflagration.’ The adrenaline speaks for itself.”
'Episode II' is the perfect followup to the band's debut album and not only blends classical and metal on another level, but also gives its enchanting classical music numerous places to shine. We highly recommend Lost Symphony's 'Episode II'.