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In 1996, Rage released, as one of the first traditional Metal bands, an album with orchestra, called Lingua Mortis. 17 years later, the band is a totally different one (except for vocalist/bassist Peavy) but this didn´t stop them to publish a follow-up record, another Metal/orchestra project, simply entitled LMO. Almost all songs were written by guitarist Viktor Smolski, who joined Rage in 1999, has done some orchestral solo albums before and also composed the orchestral Suite Lingua Mortis (from Speak of the Dead). The songs were recorded with two different orchestras (one from Spain and another one from Viktor´s homeland Belarus), as well as two female vocalists and Henning Basse (ex-Metalium). That´s the background information for this release.
In terms of music, LMO sound very different compared to many other Metal-Orchestra collaborations. In contrast to most M-O-hybrids, the eight songs sound quite ´un-bombastic´. Instead of adding even more strings, horns etc to a Metal base to get a real ´bombast pyramid´, different elements are brilliantly interconnected, making the sound homogenous. Sometimes the guitars are dominating, sometimes the orchestra is dominating, but it never sounds like too much.
By adding other vocalists (male and female), LMO sounds a bit like a rougher twin of Avantasia. Exceptions are the quite poppy (sometimes also cheesy) Lament and Afterglow , which the album could´ve well done without. But, be advised, LMO is not made for easy listening. There are just too many details waiting to be discovered and you wont find that many catchy tunes either. All in all, LMO is a solid album, without being the bombshell I expected it to be. But I´m nevertheless curious how it will fare against the long-awaited orchestra work of another well-known German Metal band.