So there you have it. I've spent a whole paragraph on the intro of an album without even mentioning anything about this band. Well, Lothlöryen hails from Brazil, was founded in 2002, recorded several albums and e.p.'s and toured with the likes of Korpiklaani and Arkona. 'Principles Of A Past Tomorrow'is their sixth effort overall and I must say, I'm happy it arrived my inbox. Not only for the intro but also for the solid, powerful blend of folk and power metal this sextet plays. Yet, Lothlöryen manages to give the genre a modern, progressive feel by incoporating some great electronic elements into their music as well.
What we hear on 'Principles Of A Past Tomorrow' is a tremendous throwback into the heydays of heavy metal. With potent songs like 'Heretic Chant', 'God Is Many' and certainly 'Manipulative Ways', Lothlöryen reminds me of the chants of power and glory that bands like Manowar or Halloween used to write. When I imagine this bands live on stage, I can clearly see the audience raising they fist to the rhythm and singing along with some of these brilliant choruses. 'The Night Is Calling' for example is an excellent power metal song, perfectly suited for some audience participation.
What surprises me the most on this album, is the European sound of it all. Lothlöryen doesn't sound like they're from Brazil. If I had to listen to this album without reading the biography I would have guessed Germany or Finland. Even the folk elements have this European feel and they're very uplifting. Brazilian folk music is highly percussive, or at least that's what I imagine by listening to bands like Sepultura and some traditional musicians. On this album the tempo is a lot lower. These are mostly mid-tempo songs, sometimes a bit faster.
Another huge plus are the instrumental bits between some of the songs. I quite like these. They combine the songs perfectly and help providing a huge concept-feel. In fact, there seems to be a concept in this album. By including speeches from Carl Sagan and Stephen Hawking, Lothlöryen seems to place themselves in the science/astronomy/atheism camp, becoming a strong force to spread the word of reason. In fact, if you take a good look at the cover art, you will clearly see some of the greatest scientists of all time.
To conclude: Lothlöryen has gone a long way since their inception at the beginning of the century. With a vigorous album like 'Principles Of A Past Tomorrow', providing enough power, energy and variation to remain interesting, they prove that they can clearly compete with todays headliners in the progressive and power metal scene. Add some very vehement vocals and a propellent drive in the songs and the result will not disappoint. We're dealing with talented and experienced musicians who know a thing or two about songwriting. This is a glorious tribute to heavy metal, that's for sure.