Lava Engine has released two EP releases so far. I received the second one called ‘In Limbo‘, which was released in 2010. The band consists of Magnus Florin (vocals, guitars), Ronnie Jaldemark (guitars, keyboards, vocals), Mick Nordstrom (drums, vocals), and Simon Ahlstrom (bass).
The music is done in a dark mood and could easily be named along with Porcupine Tree, Riverside, Opeth and even some Black Sabbath. Lava Engine is unique in that the Magnus doesn’t sound like anyone. This is a plus for the band so that they don’t get pigeon-holed.
Opening the EP is “Drain Your Soul“ (6:22), which right off captures the listener and holds them time throughout the song. This is one of the best opening tracks I’ve heard in ages.
Next is the title track, “In Limbo” (6:06) which starts off with some beautifully played acoustic guitar that slowly eases into a heavy assault which reminds me of some of the signature guitar styles of Opeth.
“Common Ground” (4:55) is straight forward heavy rocking song that eases into a melodic song that would easily attract a more mainstream crowd. This song would, in a perfect world, be a single. It has enough of a sound that caters to both the progressive metal and heavy metal fans alike. There’s a Opeth vibe around the 3 minute mark.
“Ctrl Z” (6:35) has some of the heaviest riff on the album. Again I’m reminded of Opeth. That soon becomes a dark moody emotional song that re-uses the heavy riffs in between a more acoustic sounding guitar work. There’s some excellent moments of a Sabbath-esque guitar riffs around the 4 minute mark. There’s some dark sounding vocals around the 5 minute mark. But don’t worry it soon is back into the clean vocals territory.
The closing song, “Windows Closed” (6:18) is the best way to end an album… with a BANG. Even though every song on this EP portrays some dark emotion vibe, it’s also the most epic sounding of all the songs. The guitar work is like a wall of sound that hits you over and over then lulls you in a melodic interludes, only to return back to that wall of sound.
To sum things up, Lava Engine has a very bright future ahead of themselves. I would love to see a full length album done with similar emotions and power. So without any doubt, I’d highly recommend Lava Engine’s ’In Limbo’, especially for fans of the afore mentioned bands as well as music in a dark almost gothic tone.
Reviewed by Ron Fuchs on October 26th, 2010