|Lana Lane Lady Macbeth||Frontiers Records|
It's not too often I get to feature my first review on this site of an artist that is so established as Lana Lane.|
Up until now, the majority of her releases have been concentrated on Japan - with individual licensing deals done with other territories - but thanks to a new deal with Frontiers Records, a wider European release is now possible.
The first album of the new deal was the double live retrospective. Lady Macbeth is her first studio album of the deal and (I think) her 8th studio album overall (not including the covers, ballads and live releases!).
The musical tag applied to Lana is symphonic melodic hard rock and while that might be a slight mouthful, in this case it's entirely appropriate. As is always the case, her long time partner Erik Norlander controls production duties and lush keyboard parts. He is as much a part of Lana's sound as the lady herself.
Their vast experience as a team allows them to work as a well oiled machine and every note of this album is perfectly placed and executed – seemingly without effort.
Guests on this record include Mark McCrite (guitar, vocals), Neil Citron (guitar) and Don Schiff (NS/Stick) along with vocalist Kelly Keeling, who contributes some stunning harmony vocals to the album.
Lady Macbeth is a dramatic rock album, which tells a complex story through its 10 tracks and 50-odd minutes of music.
It's so well done however, that individual tracks can be appreciated outside the realm of the story, which I think it always an important factor with concept records. However, listening to it from start to finish takes the listener on a vivid journey which takes in the legendary story of Lady Macbeth and musically runs the gamut from intense and dramatic symphonic hard rock to lush, soaring ballads.
The opening track sets the scene with a double time rhythm and some dramatic backing vocals, but it's the second track and feature song Someone To Believe that really hits where it counts. A great hook, an emotional ballad and a haunting musical accompaniment make it an obvious stand out.
Our Time Now and No Tomorrow are both intelligent ballads which set up the story for the more intense numbers that surround them.
Summon The Devil and Shine On Golden Sun feature dramatic rock passages, with Keeper of The Flame returning to the double time hard rock of the opening track.
The Vision is another haunting piece, albeit and instrumental one this time.
We Had The World and Dunsinane Walls run together to close the album and conclude the story being told. Both are atmospheric pieces of music and define the term symphonic melodic rock.
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