LORD OF MUSHROOMS - 7 Deadly Songs
by: ALEX REIS
| Just when you started thinking every new Prog Metal band is a cheap copy of Dream Theater, Lord of The Mushrooms releases their new groundbreaking album, 7 Deadly Songs. Based off the concept of the seven deadly sins, this conceptual album expands the Progressive horizons into new territories. Elements of Jazz, Progressive Rock, Progressive Metal, AOR, and almost every genre of contemporary music can be found here, in a perfect blend. Although musically complex, the album appeals equally to music lovers and the “educated” music audience. Atonal passages, tritons, and every other sort of dissonance are present in Seven Deadly Songs, without loosing focus on keeping the listener interested and entertained. For those looking for references, one could say that Lord Of Mushrooms' main influences are Yes, Kansas, Boston, Toto, Dream Theater (obviously), and Symphony X, but that would be restricting too much the complex and complete music landscape created by the band. This band's rhythm section is tight and accurate, with guitar, bass, and drums working closely together to form a solid musical foundation. The vocals are exactly what they should be ... not too much over the top, not too harsh, and not unique enough to drive your attention away from the instruments. The keyboards, while not exaggeratedly exposed, are of astounding virtuosity and good taste. Being the “sonic glue” of the vocal harmonies and the concise rhythmic section, they draw atmospheric lines while providing lead work equally well.
The first of the seven deadly sins based songs, “Pride,” flirts with all of their influences. While tending to a more AOR overall feel, the song switches easily from Metal passages to Hard Rock and Pop territory. “Avarice” falls more into the Prog Metal prototype, and has lots clever keyboard passages. The rhythm section is again working perfectly together. The song has an overall feel that will sound familiar to Symphony X’s fans.
More on the heavy side, while still retaining the AOR styled melodies, “Envy” is the third track on 7 Deadly Songs. The funky bass work and the odd tempos shows off all the versatility found in their rhythmic foundation. Atmospheric enough to sound like a video game track, “Anger” is more of the same found in the previous track. Obviously, that is not a bad thing at all. A highlight in this song is the Hard Rock-styled chorus. The main ballad in 7 Deadly songs, "Sloth," has nice piano lines, and a nice vocal melody. The weird solo is one of the passages in the album that shows off the band’s musical education background. The most fun track on 7 Deadly Songs, “Gluttony,” has a chilled-down feel to it, with Funk being thrown in the style blend. This track is hugely influenced by the Hard Rock greats that inspired Lord of Mushrooms' music. The organ work is true to style, and fills gracefully the harmonic spaces.
Back to the Heavy Metal mood, the closing track, “Lust,” is the heaviest track on the album. The keyboard work in this track reminds of Jordan Rudess’ latest work with Dream Theater, and that means total keyboard wizardry. Justice be done though, the guitar work is also a highlight here, along with the vocal harmonies. After the seven deadly sins, we have the trilogy “Legend.” These three songs feel like an entirely different album. While still retaining the musical quality from the conceptual section of 7 Deadly Songs, a more experimental approach is taken within these compositions.
If you are into Progressive Metal, or even Progressive music in general, this album is a must have. It’s really nice to hear something that sounds new and fresh in the Prog genre. Lord of Mushrooms is one of the few bands trying to push the standards a little higher, and do something, that while not being entirely new, is very original. For more info on Lord of Mushrooms, visit the band’s Web site at www.LordOfMushrooms.com, or the label’s Web site at www.LionMusic.com
Review from www.metalexpressradio.com
LORD OF MUSHROOMS - 7 DEADLY SONGS (B+) Lion Music, 2005
10 tracks, RT: 58:57
[ http://www.lordofmushrooms.com/ ]
[ http://www.lionmusic.com/ ] Wow, another cool band comes out of nowhere with an impressive album! Lord Of Mushrooms is a French progressive metal outfit who sound to my ears like a cross between Pain Of Salvation, Shadow Gallery and Vanden Plas. 7 DEADLY SONGS is their second album and features interesting song arrangements, superb technical playing and a surprisingly good production. As you may have guessed, the album is a concept piece about the seven deadly sins and begins with the explosive "Pride," demonstrating some really precise and creative musicianship. Vocalist Julien Vallespi takes awhile to get used to, reminiscent of Daniel Gildenlow at times; after a few spins you notice he fits well with the music, with an unusual plaintive tonal quality. "Avarice" follows and slams into you with some off-meter drumming courtesy of Mickael James who stuns with his virtuosity throughout. "Envy" and "Anger" are also very good, Quentin Benayoun's keyboards rivaling those of any prog metal band you care to name, as Laurent James turns in a fantastic performance on guitar as well. Bass duties are handled well by Julien Negro, who maintains a strong foundation while keeping the songs fluid. "Sloth" quiets things down a little with some of the momentum lost, with "Gluttony" offering up a different, poppier feel. If you want to make sure these guys can play check out "The Tempest," a quickly delivered instrumental displaying all the usual prog tricks with practiced ease. "Paylee Conol" ends the album nicely with some excellent light-and-shade playing and strong vocal melodies. If I have one complaint about 7 DEADLY SONGS, it's that it opens up rather slowly, taking about four spins to get into. The melodies are not immediately evident but they are there for you to discover. I hope prog metal fans give these guys a chance, as I can see them really going places in the future! - Neal Woodall (MysticX10@msn.com)
Detritus Rock/Metal e-zine
"Rock Hard With A Purpose"
Seven Deadly Songs
Lord of Mushrooms
Despite sporting a name right out of the South Park, this lot produce some damn accessible prog/power metal that is not that far removed from Dream Theater at their least pretentious. As you might expect from the name most of the songs on this album are based on the seven deadly sins of yore. Into the normal power metal framework the band introduce fusion, jazz and even hints of pop ala Busted. One of the more accessible aspects of this collection is fact that singer, Julien Vallespi, tends to stay in a range which does not grate on the ear even if his singing can be a bit nasally. Rather than is the temptation these days, he does not try to out do Dickinson. While not necessarily great on first listen, the sheer quality of this music shines through, never more so than on the catchy track 'Anger'. By far one of the prog records most likely to cross-over this year.
Reviews Editor, Get Ready To Rock!
LORD OF THE MUSHROOMS - SEVEN DEADLY SONGS (LION MUSIC)
Lord Of Mushrooms! I love the bandname and I am about to fall in love with their sound too. These guys have been around since the autumn of year 2000 and they have done one album before this one. The Mushroom guys know how to deal with their instruments, so amazing and interesting. You get so carried away by listening, like walking on clouds filled with emotional fantasies. “Seven Deadly songs” gives you the ride you have been looking for. Lion Music have found something extra ordinary special this time. You probable already have guessed that this is a concept-album based on the seven sins. The five members of the band are coming from various different musical worlds and they all have different talents, all of that gives the songwriting some extraordinary dimensions and twists, unexpected turns around every corner. Pure flavored progressive metal and some hard rock fusion with some very cool progressive jazz ingredients make this album to a journey into territories you haven't been for a very long time.
Full marks to the production and the vocals. “Seven Deadly Songs” are breathing harmonies and glittering riffs. All to all this must be ranked as one of the better surprises in a long time. Lord Of Mushrooms have all the energy and devotion that bands like Dream Theater lost somewhere along the way. Lovers of Threshold, Enchant and Eldritch must look up. You have got 60 minutes ahead of you. So crank up the volume, sit back, enjoy and most of all, discover. www.lordofmushrooms.com
Johnny Forslund www.aordreamzones.com
|Lord Of Mushrooms - Seven Deadly Songs (Lion Music) By: Joe Florez
|This French outfit have released one album before on a smaller label and now they are given decent exposure with the second release. The disc revolves around the basic concept of the seven deadly sins and what came out of those speakers was truly unique. This is progressive metal taken to different levels. “Pride” is a very laid back approach toward music writing with it’s catchy as hell choruses that are full of life. The music is also very vibrant. Flashy, yet controlled guitar solos are exploited, while the drumming has a jazz appeal to it. This even has commercial potential because it’s so easy to follow. It’s smooth prog metal performed at its highest peak. Even though this is a lengthy song like most
|tracks are of this genre, it moves quick and painlessly. “Avarice” picks up the pace a bit with more aggressive guitar work and the drums are stuck a bit harder and being more technical. The voice also has a bit more muscle behind it, but the band remains classy and tries to not get overly insane with their compositions. Shit, these guys go from one track to the next with total unpredictability and never repeat themselves. I think that by having five talented musicians that all come from different backgrounds can truly make for some killer music. They are able to shift several tempos and styles into one song without it being a train wreck. They have the talent and know how to pull it off effortlessly. “Gluttony” goes more for 70’s hard rock with the vintage organ sound, but refusing to sound dated and weak. The final sin from the Bible, “Lust” continues with its winning ways, but then it gets a bit weird in terms of writing. There is a bit of a metal flare tossed in here too and if you listen closely you will notice just a smidge of ELP. Overall, this is impressive to say the least. The ending of the song is even bizarre as they just toss in some electronica just to throw you off a bit. After our Bible study for the day, we round the disc off with “Legend,” which is broken into three parts and moves from subtle to nostalgic to classy. In the end, what you are treated to is something truly unique that is just bursting with colorful dynamics and originality that can’t be compared to anything else. If you are in the mood for something more than your run of the mill Dream Theaters and such, then this is the perfect alternative for you. Besides, one listen isn’t enough due to the fact that there are many layers of sound that need to be explored closely with each spin. This is a must listen. P.S. Ignore the cover. It may look lame, but what’s inside is what matters most.