Lyriel - Skin and Bones
AFM Records
Melodic Folk/Symphonic Metal
13 songs (56:00)
Release year: 2014
AFM Records
Reviewed by Joel
Lyriel is a German band that has been on my radar for awhile, but Skin and Bones is the first disc I have sat down and listened too. A mix of celtic rock, gothic and symphonic metal(without the soprano-sized vocals). The band's instrumentation is unique, in the sense that they incorporate a real cello instead of an electric bass and a violinist instead of a second guitarist(While this is not new, it is implemented very well here).

The first two tracks Numbers and Fallen Skies are mid-tempo rockers with a great sense of melody, and passionate vocals from Jessica Thierjung. The latter has a little violin lead that really gives Lyriel their sound, while Falling Skies shows off the lower end of Theirjung's range. Her lower range is something that I feel is a signature part of the band, because in these days of mezzo-soprano's her voice definitely stands out in the best possible way. The pace quickens a little bit for the title track, the song features a dynamic sing-a-long chorus. The symphonic part of the band comes into play during the song Black And White. During the intro a beautiful duet is played by Linda Laukamp(cello, background vocals) and Joon Laukamp(violin) that gives the song that natural feel, that most keyboards or virtual(computer) instruments could not duplicate the feel of. The song features a duet with Christian Alvestam(ex Scar Symmetry, Solution .45, and many other bands). He uses a mixture of melodic clean vocals and his signature death growls. The death growls are a bit misplaced for this particular song, but they also don't overstay their welcome either. The beautiful classical instrumentation return for the folk ballad, Days Had Just Begun. Jessica Theirjung's vocals on this song are absolutely beautiful, and the song has a real uplifting feel to it. The slower to mid-paced Your Eyes is next, and highlights more lead violin. The chorus is a little faster paced, with some basic but effect palm-muted guitar riffs and faster drumming. The vocals range on this song from Theirjung really showcases her ability. From the previous mentioned lower(Alto) range to beautifully sung falsetto, this song has it all. Much like Your Eyes instrumentation wise, Dust To Dust follows suit, with an almost pop meets folky sung chorus.

Unfortunately I don't speak much German, but the German sung Der Weg is next. All I can say it is much like the other songs, but only sung in a different language. Thanks to Google Translate Der Weg means "The Way." The haunting melodies of Linda Laukamp's cello opens the beautiful Astray. The song is cello and vocals. At just over three minutes, it definitely highlights both of the band's talented ladies. I really like the heavier, Worth The Fight. I like how the guitars are a little farther up in the mix on this song, and the riff itself, is damn good. Speaking of damn good guitar riffs, the one that opens Running In Our Blood is one of the best on the entire disc. "We are better when we drink, we are much better when we don't think" is a sample of this fun song. I don't think the band is taking itself too seriously with the lyrics, but the song itself is damn good. From a bit goofy and fun with the last song to somber, Dream Within A Dream is next. Mainly a piano ballad for half of it, the rest of the band joins in, to create a climax in the song. With all the slower songs on the disc, I have come to realize that whether the song is folk-tinged or not, Lyriel definitely can write good songs. With that sentiment, the last song is a second version of Black and White, without Christian Alvestam's clean vocals. I like both versions equally.

Lyriel have produced a very melodic, fun fifty six minute plus disc that fans of melodic or female fronted rock bands should enjoy. While a lot of the songs carry the same song structure, nothing feels monotonous or forced. I look forward to hearing more from his well established German band.
Lyriel is:
Jessica Thierjung: vocals
Oliver Thierjung: bass, back. vocals
Linda Laukamp: cello, back. Vocals
Tim Sonnenstuhl: guitar
Markus Fidorra: drums, percussion
Joon Laukamp: violin
Killing Songs :
Listening from start to finish, I liked them ALL. Black and White is a definite favorite
Joel quoted 84 / 100
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