Killer prog metal.Martin LeMar - Vocals, Vivien Lalu ~ Keyboards, Joop Wolters - Guitars, Russell Bergquist (ex-Annihilator) - Bass, Ryan Van Poederooyen (The Devin Townsend Band) - Drums, Lars Eric Mattsson - additional solo on track 1
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Lalu: Oniric Metal
Lalu - Oniric Metal (Lion Music) Review by Joe Florez www.live4metal.com
Vivien Lalu is a keyboardist from France who is slowly making a name for himself in the progressive metal world. He was worked with underground vocalist Hubi Meisel on his concept CD “EmOcean” and on other projects as well. Now, he has decided to come up with a project of his own and it rocks. Joining him on his adventure is former Annihilator bassist Russell Bergquist, Devin Townsend Band drummer Ryan Van Poederooyen and some other unknowns, but talented nonetheless. “Yesterdayman” starts off sounding like an intro to an old Dream Theater track, but then soon ventures off into a whole new realm filled with lush, dynamic and atmospheric keyboard tickling and as far as the other
musicians go, they give hope to the genre that you can still be creative and stand out among the millions of other artists vying for your attention. There is even a hint of 70’s prog rock thrown in, but it’s not clichéd. “Wolven Eyes” just continues to astonish me with their song writing skills. They squeeze in a little bit of jazz as well as a touch of Pain Of Salvation for an original sound that is more than pleasing to the ears. After a few songs sounding unique, they go for the kill with “Night In Poenari.” It’s as heavy and progressive as one could get. Add some chants in there and speed and you’re in for one wild ride. There is no stopping Lalu’s creativity as he and his crew continues to befuddle us with his genius. This is one debut that will amaze and stun audiences the world over because everything inserted in here is fresh and of the highest quality. Beware, Symphony X and all in this category because Vivien has what it takes to dominate in this field.
«LALU» Oniric Metal
|Fans of Progressive Metal sit up and take notice now. New band Lalu pedal the sort of impressive Progressive Metal overtones exploited by Dream Theater with the aggression of Evergrey and vocal arrangements of Transatlantic. Led by keyboardist Vivien Lalu and home to impressive talents of vocalist Martin LeMar, guitarist Joop Walters and the experienced rhythm section of Russell Bergquist (ex-Annihilator) on Bass and drummer Ryan Van Poederooyen (The Devin Townsend Band).
Oniric Metal is quality from start to finish showcasing excellent song writing, great production and original arrangements. Opening track Yesterday Man kicks things off with a powerful start whilst my favourite moment is the more tender moments of Windy which showcases pure class.
Overall a very fine release from a band that has a very bright future ahead of them.
Rating – 80% www.virtuosityone.com
Lalu - Oniric Metal
Lalu? "Oniric Metal"? Hmmm. Strange bandname and album title! Lalu is the name of bandleader and keyboarder Vivian Lalu (also Hubi Meisel Band). Together with relativly know musicians as Russell Bergquist (ex-Annihilator) on bass, Ryan Van Poederooyen (Devin Towsend Band) on drums plus the no names (in my knowledge) - Joop Wolters (guitar) and singer Martin LeMar, Lalu starts a really interesting progressive metal act. Ok the name is not the best, but the music is not the copy of the third copy. The songs sound really fresh, the singer has a wide range and power. I am really surprised of this band: As a listener you don´t know how the next song is going to sound like, this makes Lalu very interesting! When the band plays ballads like "Windy" they sound like nice Melodic Rock and then the next song "Night In Phoenari" is Power Metal with really fat guitars.
The record has a warm, good sound and the keyboards are not nerving. Some bands lead by or with a keyboarder have often these problems!
The guitarplay of Wolters I like very much and some crazy spheric sound effects are the salt in the soup!
As you can notice now Lalu have a lot of different styles in their sound – Power Metal, Hard Rock, Progressive Metal, they call it "Oniric Metal"!
A really hot album you shouldn´t miss!
DEFENDERS OF METAL
Lalu "Oniric Metal" Lion Music ****
Newly signed to Finland's Prog Metal/ Rock label 'Lion Music' is this
new artist under the name of Lalu, which features former Annihilator
bassist, Russell Bergquist and also joining Russell are: Martin LeMar -
Vocals, Vivien Lalu - Keyboards, Joop Wolters - Guitars, Ryan Van
Poederooyen - Devin Townsend drums, which makes this a superb album
because this album reminds me of Tear Of Anger, Minds Eye, Artension,
Dream Theater and many more. This album however is a really good
balance of Prog Metal and with hints of Blues and AOR thrown in as
well. 8 trax of pure solid music that sometimes gets over looked by the
people and especially the media. Guitarist Joop Wolters is a superb
guitar player, who comes across between Marcel Coenen (Sun Caged) and
also Tony Macalpine. Vocals by Martin LeMar remind me of Tears of Anger
vocalist Björn Jansson. Some of the music is pretty intense of the
guitars, a nice balance of melodic but heavy de-tuned guitar riffs
makes this an interesting album. I really can not fault this album it's
one of the best releases on Lion Music, and I cant wait to hear from.
Check out: Yesterday Man, Wolven Eyes, Windy, Night In Poenari,
Moonstruck, The Final Fantasy & Star Watcher. If you like Prog Metal
then look no further, this is a classic in it's own rights!!
Album: Oniric Metal
Music: 8.0 over 10
Production: 8.0 over 10
Vivien Lalu is mostly known for his work with Hubi Meisel on the
EmOcean. Also the upcoming Shadrane's Neurastasia has already gained
some publicity on the Internet. In a way, Lalu's Oniric Metal was done
in order to ease the wait of the Shadrane project.
The music on Oniric Metal is progressive metal with dreamy keyboards
and varying song structures. The music flows effortlessly and the
keyboards create a nice atmosphere to the whole record. Overall, the
material on this record is pretty good. The performances are solid as
the line-up consists of many experienced musicians - for example, Ryan
van Poederooyen (the Devin Townsend Band) on drums and Russell
Bergquist (ex-Annihilator) on bass.
Oniric Metal has been produced rather well, since the sounds are to
the point. Unfortunately, there's some background distortion on the
recordings (however, it occurs only few times). Nevertheless, the
mastering has been done quite well.
Since the release of the Shadrane project is postponed all the time
(it was supposed to be released in 2004), Lalu's Oniric Metal is a
welcome sight. For the most part, it contains nicely flowing
atmospheric progressive metal that doesn't lose its appeal after few
Release date: March 25th, 2005
- MAGE (March 9th, 2005)
Reviewed by Jeff (www.metalstorm.ee)
Vivien Lalu is a young French guy passionate by music, especially rock and progressive Metal. Our man plays the piano and keyboards but he is also a fine songwriter (that’s a bit normal when your parents was also the members of a Progressive rock band of the 70’s…). After some writing works for Hubi Meisel, Vivien decided to form a band in 2003. The “project” Lalu is born, with of course Vivien but also, Martin LeMar (Tomorrow's Eve), Joop Wolters (Arabesque), Russell Bergquist (ex Annihilator) and Ryan Van Poederooyen the mighty drummer of the Devin Townsend’s band. Believe me, I have the luck to listen a lot of CD everyday but some first albums with such quality, that’s not the same. Aficionados of Progressive Metal, this one is for you!!!
Vivien Lalu is a talented musician; we have the perfect proof with “his” first album “Oniric Metal”. I really like the progressives bands from the very powerful ones like Symphony X, to the classics like Dreamt Theater or the really avant-gardist ones like Pain of Salvation, I can’t say that Lalu is like a mix of all these bands, but for sure we can find some similitude in the music of Vivien. A song like “Night In Poenari” for example has this power that you will find in SX’s music, “Yesterdayman” with its complex lines of keyboards but with a very catchy chorus remember me the last Dream Theater and etc for the other songs... That’s not a copycat don’t misunderstand me, Lalu, is a pure original band with it’s own personal music but, I’m (maybe wrong), I think that I can hear that all these famous bands had an influence on Vivien’s compositions. The music of Lalu is really mature, it must certainly come from the talent of all the famous “guest” musicians of the band, but before all I really think that we are in front of a little genius and I’m ready to bet some litters of good beer that we will hear about this guy in the future. If we had some great progressive bands in France with for example Stephan Forte and his Adagio for sure now will also have to count on Vivien Lalu with his own project.
This album is really diversified, with ballads, fast and aggressive tracks and evidently some very technical and progressive song. I like this album because Vivien knew how to give his emotions through this music. Sadness, love, anger and even fun all that is concentrated in this really good first album, it rocks really…
The production is also very good and Vivien has the luck to be signed by the really good label Lion music, which gave him some good means of production for the recording of the album but also for the cover art of the CD made by my mate Monowasp who will become soon THE Metal designer, like a Travis Smith or a Niklas Sundin, a nice choice and a nice work for a first album, it can’t be better…
That’s a first great album really and I think that you should try to find the first release of Lalu. All the fans of Progressive Metal that you are will be amazed by the quality of the music that you will be able to find on this release. Not any big problems on this album, only some good and nice music for a promising artist who will become a leader of the Progressive French scene without any doubt. Come with me in the Lalu’s world you couldn’t regret it…
Lalu: Oniric Metal - www.lalusworld.com
. Oniric Metal is a progressive metal album that has influences from
notables such as Vanden Plas, Dream Theater and Rush. Two of the closer
comparisons are two German prog bands: Anguish and Tomorrow's Eve. You could
even throw Ivory Tower in there too. Lalu has that melodic progressive metal
style that is solid on the keyboards but with a singer who comes from a more
rock-oriented, melodic background.
. Lalu could be considered a minor supergroup made up of a number of
well-respected, although not necessarily well-known musicians. The band's
name comes from keyboardist Vivien Lalu, a French composer who has worked
with Shadrane and he was the one who did all the music for ex-Dreamscape
singer Hubi Meisel's project EmOcean. Vivien's keyboards aren't as
in-your-face as a band like Artension and instead come across as one
outstanding, beautiful instrument amongst many.
. Also in the band is the new vocalist from German prog band
Tomorrow's Eve - Martin LeMar, Arabesque guitarist Joop Wolters,
ex-Annhilator bassist Russel Bergquist, and the most recent member of the
Devin Townsend band, Canadian drummer Ryan Van Poederooyen. And, I must say,
with an outstanding production, solid, creative song-writing skills, and a
penchant to draw the listener in with the flowing, melodic variety of music
- then I highly, highly recommend Lalu's debut album Oniric Metal that is
due on Lion Music sometime in late March. This 55 minute album features 8
songs - One 10 minutes long and another 18 minutes long - and Lalu are able
to hold your attention throughout. We're going to play one of the shorter
tracks though, a heavier, eclectic one from Lalu and their new album Oniric
Metal with the track Night in Poenari.
Gary Carson (and Peter Fundeis)
LALU - ONIRIC METAL
Genre: Progressive Metal
Lalu is definitely a weird choice for name for a band, but like all bands, it all comes down to the music because that's what really matters, is it not? The bands was named this way because it's also the name of the person who started this project, Vivien Lalu, therefore that's understandable.
As for the music style, nothing I wouldn't expect from Lion Music, the label from this band. It's Progressive Rock, very melodic and with a couple of catchy parts that should delight to any of the fans of this genre. The instruments actually fit very well, specially the keyboards. Well I'm a keyboard fan myself, not exactly when it comes to Progressive Rock bands, but in general terms. If you're not really a keyboard man, then you would probably have a hard time liking this album.
"Oniric Metal" is actually the first release from Lalu, and here you can find a quite respectable line-up: Martin LeMar (vocals), Vivien Lalu (keyboards), Joop Wolters (guitars), Russell Bergquist (ex-Annihilator) (bass) and Ryan Van Poederooyen (The Devin Townsend Band) (drums).
This would explain the fact that the music already sounds like they've been doing this for years, as I'm sure many of them actually are. One key factor in this kind of bands is that they must be able to grab the attention of the listener with many catchy chorus parts and killer guitars/keyboards. The vocals, of course, also need to be good. In Lalu, they are able to achieve most of these requirements, they only lack a little when it comes to the catchy parts. Nonetheless, there are some songs here that are quite good and also a very good way to start knowing this band: "YesterdayMan", "Night in Poenari" and "Moonstruck".
I've heard better albums during the last couple of months, as far as this style is concerned, but "Oniric Metal" is not a piece of music at all.
1. Yesterday Man
2. Wolven Eyes
4. Night In Poenari
7. Star Watcher
8. Pot Boy: The Final Fantasy
LALU - ONIRIC METAL
Now HERE is a nice entry into the prog world. I have been growing weary of a
lot of progressive metal with Dream Theater clone syndrome...and the "more
style than substance" sort of albums.
This is a fairly diverse album, ranging from heavy progressive rock to
aggressive galloping melodic power with choruses. There is emotion evident
in this, and that is what is REALLY selling me.
The thing that struck me first was the dynamic and passionate midrange
vocals by Martin LeMar. But the totality is a wonderful listen. I have been
disappointed with a few recent Lion releases because of subpar production.
This is the complete opposite. Lots of depth to my ears. The drums (Ryan Van
Poederooyen from the Devin Townsend Band) pounded into me mercilessly. I
never felt i missed any of the nuances of Vivien Lalu's keys, which at
varying times offered up symphonics, ambience or some subtle jazzy bits. All
the musicianship is stellar, but it should be...this album has a good
pedigree. Other than the musicians i mentioned, there is Joop Wolters on
Guitars, and Russell Bergquist formerly of Annihilator on Bass.
A winner for me.
Release date is 25 March.
Hard n Heavy Rock and Metal CDs Online
|LION MUSIC (2005)
|Progressive Metal that's sound heavy! I love the big heavy guitar sound. In fact, the whole sound is amazing. Well done production that really appealed to me! To be honest, I really don't know the leader of this project, Vivien Lalu. But I know his musicians. Joop Wolters on guitar (he's definitly a virtuoso!), Ryan Van P. (Devin Towsend band's drummer) & Russell Bergquist (ex-Annihilator). Does that sounds appealing? In my book yes! Ok, now that we all knows that those musician are killer top notch musicians, is the songs good? Definitly! Strong guitar sound & riffs, good atmosphere, powerfull melodic vocals. Another very strong point are the piano/keyboards that definitly add a very cool vibe on those tracks. You'll a lot of different emotions on this record. From soft to very heavy, from up-beat complex stuff to really easy riffs. The execution of those musicians is perfect. The amazing work from every musical instruments make this album sound killer! Amazing guitar solos! My favorite songs are Night in Poenari & Moonstruck for it's amazing heavy guitar riff and up-beat tempo. A very strong heavy prog records that should serve as an exemple to other bands!