A strange resonance
A depth unknown
A static motion
A state of being gone
Twenty-twenty, for all its awful qualities, has certainly churned out an immense quantity of amazing music. Seriously, I’ve been wading in fantastic releases for months. However, there are some albums that will be more memorable than others; and, for me, I think one of those records will be the debut from Light Field Reverie. The album is called “Another World” and it releases on November 20th.
LFR hails from New Zealand, though I’m not sure if all the members actually live there. Anways, the band members will sound quite familiar to you, being Heike Langhans (Draconian, ISON) on vocals, lyrics, and synths; Mike Lamb (Sojourner) on guitars, synths, piano, and drums; and Scotty Lodge (Sojourner) on bass. The talent behind this band is impressive, as all of them have released music with other projects this year that has been awe-inspiring, to say the least.
Heike has become one of my absolute favorite vocalists over the last year. Her otherworldly tone is so full of mourning and passion that I had to track down all of her various musical projects. I knew that she had some other styles in her bag of tricks, though, and LFR is part of that. The band plays a spacey, ethereal variety of progressive metal. While Heike’s doomy and atmospheric qualities definitely find their way into the mix, this album certainly has plenty of riffy drive, blast bleats, and post-metal influence. It’s a beautiful assortment, one with grand melodies, sludgy moments, and wonderful keys.
I mentioned that this album would be memorable for me, but that doesn’t necessarily entail that it is better than everything else this year. No, it is memorable because 2020 has been made better by it. This is for two reasons. First, the band revealed their first single “Ultraviolet” back in June, and it hit at just the right time. I was enveloped by it and by the subsequent release of “This Old House”. I had listened to both singles dozens of times before I even received the promo for the album. So, in a way, LFR has been there through all the ups and downs of this abnormal year.
Second, Heike’s lyrics are deep wells of meaning and stricken hope, as always. The band states that the lyrics cover the concepts of home, belonging, and finding light in a darkened world, and that comes through with blazing accuracy. More than that, the lyrics seem to reference these nostalgic concepts within our search for a better world, another world. In fact, in some ways, the better world we seek is already within us and all around us, if only we can drive back the darkness to see it. The album portrays all of this with serene lyrics and a few potent voiceovers that really work well within their respective songs.
“Another World” has six songs and is about 40 minutes long. That’s perfect, in my eyes. The two singles I mentioned start off the album with tremendous spectacle. “Ultraviolet” gives us meaty riffs, a soaring chorus, and a great climax. I absolutely love it. “This Old House” is even better, though, with a slow-burning first half of Heike’s dreamy musings that launch into a wailing, longing chorus that brings tears to my eyes. The second half of the song is a progressive mesh of frothing guitars and gorgeous melody.
The rest of the album is just as good. “Ghost Bird” took some time for me, but I’ve come to adore it. It has more of a piano-driven ambient quality to it, feeling quite post-metal overall. A truly atmospheric portion in the middle grabs my attention, though, being peaceful and quietly striking, but the album soon rises again, throwing in some excellent death metal growls for good measure. The title track comes next, and I believe it is my favorite of the album. It has an instantly upbeat quality about it, and it hovers over electronica and blackened guitar work. I love the lyrics, the emotive chorus, and the chugging instrumental near the end. It truly makes me want to “make believe in something more than fiction”.
The last two songs do not disappoint. “Dreamwalkers” is the shortest track on the album, but packs a pensive punch. It is rather atmospheric and fluid, and the vocals sound desperate and full of longing. The final track, “All Roads Lead Home”, is a special song. It clocks in at over 9 minutes in length, and is certainly lead by a wandering, yet persistent synth line that I’ve come to love. This song is truly atmospheric and otherworldly, and possesses, I believe, a strong influence from the philosophy of Friedrich Nietzsche, specifically his warnings about staring into the abyss and how that can cause the abyss stare back into you. It feels like this song is edifying us to be strong and confident, and not to let the violence and monstrosities of this life keep us from going home, from reaching our potential for peace and goodness. That’s what I take from it, anyways.
Light Field Reverie has a resplendent debut for us. “Another World” is beautifully realized, deeply meaningful, and poetically executed. I love every minute of it, and I hope the band can bring us such ambition and appetite again in another album soon.
Will you follow me home
Through the fields of light?
Let go of the wreckage
Leave it behind
Turn to golden dust
Under the violet sun
Find Light Field Reverie online: