LORD OF LIGHT "Morningstar"
Band: LORD OF LIGHT
Label: No Remorse
Release date: March 13, 2020 (self-released digitally on 11/11/2019)
Format reviewed: (high-rate) mp3 promo
"Morningstar" was initially self-released in the late 2019 on digital platforms. Based on the accolades the album received from the fans, just weeks later found LORD OF LIGHT signing a multi-record agreement with the Greek label No Remorse Records. "Morningstar" will be released for the first time on a physical format on March 13th.
LORD OF LIGHT is the brainchild of Swedish composer, vocalist and multi-instrumentalist, Nicklas Kirkevall. In 2019 Nicklas put together a trio of musicians to record the project's debut, "Morningstar". (I hope the first of many quality records to follow.) He states: “The music is what’s been bouncing around my head for the better part of a decade now. There are riffs and melodies that don’t seem to want to leave me so I have to make something of them not to go insane.”
Classically trained as pianist from a young age, we find Nicklas (heavily inspired by Iron Maiden at the time) reaching early teens switching focus to rock music, electric guitar and keyboards. After spending a few years gigging, mainly playing keyboards for softer, AOR oriented acts, the talented musician decided to pivot towards heavier sounds and heavily amplified electric guitar, dedicating his songwriting skills to what was to became LORD OF LIGHT.
Personally written and produced by Nicklas Kirkevall, LORD OF LIGHT's studio debut, "Morningstar", brings a palpable positive attitude to today's metal scene, without sounding preachy. The album is very well composed with a clean production to match, and a very coherent recording (mixed & engineered by Jokke Pettersson @ Ladahland Studios; mastered by Tony Lindgren @ Fascination Street Studios), making for a very enjoyable audio experience! Musically, the tracks on the album deliberately blur the lines between heavy metal and progressive/power metal, easily relevant of influences that range from Toto to Meshuggah. Note per note, this album exudes an extremely high level of technicality, however, no unnecessary wankery is to be found here. (One again) the rather uplifting and intelligent lyrical content is beautifully delivered via a clean and powerful, extended range, multi-layered vocal performance! The omnipresent synth parts are also an essential part of this opus. According to Nicklas only analogue synths were used in the recording of "Morningstar"! A certain reoccurring synth hook gives the album a sense of wonderful fluidity, masterfully exchanged within the other instruments present in the mix, and clearly reverberating from the speakers.
A modern day counterpart to Mike Oldfield's 1973 epic "Tubular Bells", LORD OF LIGHT's "Morningstar" is vibrant and organic, and at the same time as hard hitting and powerful! Personally, I'm in full agreement with Nicklas Kirkevall: "I think there is much to be done within the world of metal that hasn’t been done already. Some times it can feel like there aren’t any more uncharted waters to explore, but I sincerely hope we get the opportunity to prove otherwise in the coming years. I know we’re not the only ones, but I think we have the chance to contribute something really meaningful."
Give this opus a chance. Really. 9/10
ALBUM / RECORDING LINE-UP
Nicklas Kirkevall: Vocals, guitars & keyboards
Alfred Andersson: Bass guitar
Jesper Sunnhagen: Drums
Connect with LORD OF LIGHT on Facebook.
No Remorse Records links:
© 2020 by Emil Chiru