1. Why did they make this album? What was the passion or message that forced them to produce what they have? Or, simply what was their motivation for the themes they chose for this album?
“The LoreWeaveR musical project started in 2008, when vocalist Barbara Rubin joined the ensemble formerly built with the same name by Francesco Salvadeo (guitars), Giordano Mattiuzzo (bass), Lorenzo Marcenaro (keyboards) and Andrea Mazza (drums), long time band mates from the past.” “The band’s efforts are focused from the very beginning on composing original tracks, progressive metal style, where the various influences and personalities of each member could be put in evidence, with the aim of building both aggressive and evocative sounds and tunes.” “In 2008 the band recorded its first work (IMPERVIAE AUDITIONES) in the “Solid Groove P.R.” studios of Ghiaie di Bonate Sopra (BERGAMO, ITALY) in which artists such as Ian Paice have recorded.” “Meanwhile they changed their lineup with the debut of Claudio Cavalli (drums), a versatile musician and experienced live/studio session man”.
“The musical moments change from suffused and romantic parts to extremely heavy riffs and atmospheres, building complex structures but at the same time limiting to the very essential the soloist passages, preferring the ensemble unity to the single musician exaltation” (Source: Loreweaver’s MySpace 2010).
2. What message are they delivering through their lyrics and music?
1) Bogus – Solid drums, synthesizers, bass, and power guitars unleash this cannon power of sound as Loreweaver bursts to life with their debut. The drums synths and ripping guitars remind you instantly of the power which once was Dream Theater. But before you can start reminiscing, Barbara’s wild vocals rip through the air and you know you are being taken to a new place and time.
This music has the powerful reminders of the best of Dream Theater, but Barbara’s voice and the solid keyboards and drums are better than what has recently been produced by DT. Barbara really spikes the air with solid power in those vocals and the keyboards are just devastatingly brilliant. I didn’t want the keys to stop, but the blasting drums and ripping guitars leave the listener and the air full of sound. In fact, the dramatic drums and guitar make this one of the best songs on this album. A fantastic opener bringing the listener to the edge of their seat anticipating what will follow.
2) Dead Man Walking – This one opens slow, but hold onto your hat, the whirlwind of sound that builds with keyboards, drums, and ripping guitars is awesome! The keys are just incredible. You don’t want that intro to end. Barbara’s voice adds that warm touch missing in many heavy metal prog bands. She delivers the vocals so sincerely. “Behind a glass brick wall.” “I deceive my mind with images.” “My eyes look without seeing.” She does an excellent job of conveying the feeling of this song so well.
When she repeats the refrain, “and to build what I never built, to lie in the winds”, it is one of the best parts of her vocal expressions. It creates a great melody. Barbara really stretches her voice throughout this and all of the songs on the album. She really does provide power with her warm female vocals. It’s refreshing. When she whispers towards the end of the song it really sticks with you. The instrumental parts are just incredible. You will want to play this one loud.
3) De Rerum Natura – This one opens with Barbara’s voice roaring and sometimes whispering with cool effects, after the assault of drums, guitars and cool bass. “Your mind tries to break open the doors. “ This song is definitely vocals driven for the first part, then the synths, drums and laser speed guitars rip open the seam and fly all over the place. The bass and drums play an excellent role of stabilizer, bringing back and securing the rhythm, while the keys and guitars just rip out the melody. It’s a great combo punch.
4) Follow the Weaver – Cool synths and keys to slowly open this one. However, the onslaught of guitar, bass and drums comes at you like a wagon load of dynamite. These assaults of the ears are so cool and so missed from the music I used to expect from DT. Barbara’s voice now sounds electronically altered. But from time to time she comes back with that soft female voice to remind you of the human side. A song full of anger and the music and vocals meet the task. Those thumping drums and launching guitars sound so cool. Barbara sings, “…and my mind will always be free from all doubt”, and it brings back so many memories of Wait for Sleep from Dream Theater. She captures the moment so well.
5) Avoid Feelings – Bells and very majestic synths open this one with the support of strong drums and roaring guitar. The sound is so dynamic and powerful. Those bass and guitar riffs are really strong. Those bells are a cool effect before the whirlwind of guitars, pumping drums and synthesizers revving everywhere. Barbara’s vocals are top notch throughout this song. The piano - like keys and extravaganza of keyboard talent is a sample of what’s to come on the next song. The closing section of this song has a ‘Wait for Sleep – like’, piano – lead vocals which will bring back wonderful memories.
6) Ride the Owl (instrumental) – Strap yourself in good for this ride. Sound effects before the rocket blasts off! Then the drums, bass, keys and guitar rip open the song and launch on a powerful 4:28 trip. The synthesizers are so cool you don’t want them to end. Each new level that is added builds the excitement and majesty of the piece. But the drums never miss a beat and the crushing guitars and solid bass make this one of my favorites on the album. I dare you to try to sit still to this one.
7) That Night – Piano opens this one with Barbara’s warm vocals, “And she walked down the stairs.” “She’d been waiting for so long…” A wonderful interlude to calm the storm which has been brewing throughout this album. Very similar to Barbara’s solo work. Memorable. It’s all Barbara and a piano.
8) Ultraworld – The epic and my favorite off the album. Play this one and the whole album for that matter loud! Slow acoustic guitar opens this one with quiet synth effects. A real change after all the power in this album. But don’t worry this one will rocket soon. The galloping guitar riffs soon begin. Then the building keys, drums, bass, and roaring guitars begin their flight. That growling synth and then those grinding guitars. A short piano interlude with keyed strings. Barbara sings, “now I’m free, my minds free.” “I feel the clouds and touch the moods.” The music slowly grinds to a halt before the bombastic grinding guitars, wild synths and drums pound back into the soundscape. After a description of hallucinations, they let the chariot roar forward with thunder. Drums and cool majestic synths fill the air space. The whirlwind and finale builds to a final climax
3. Does this music improve, change, or add to the genre? What does the listener receive from listening to the music?
This is not Dream Theater. I have reviewed many bands who almost try to duplicate the old sound of DT. This band has its own sound and Barbara’s vocals, the keyboard and guitar licks provide that originality. The music itself is different and actually sounds better than recent Dream Theater albums. I know they were trying to create a good balance between all of their elements, but the keys and Barbara’s voice really stand out above everything else. The guitars and bass are wonderful, but those keys are inspired. Would be fun to let Lorenzo Marcenaro run wild like Jordan Rudess gets to every so often on DT’s albums. You get a good dose of what he might be able to do throughout this album.
The only thing missing is the lyrics. This is an Italian band, so English may not be their first language. Normally I wouldn’t mention this, but they are so close that it is the only thing that might hold them back. The music is wonderful. They are ready for prime time in the melody and power departments. They only need to develop a strong story to build their own lore.
Does it have longevity? Is it something a fan will like to play again and again?
I have been listening to it often since I received it. As a Dream Theater fan I miss this kind of ‘in your face’ production from them in recent years. This album fills that void. With female vocals this album adds more warmth and feeling than your traditional heavy prog album, carving out a nice niche for this band. A nice strong storyline for an epic concept album, with plenty of keyboard and synth interludes might just take this band to the top.
With most of the songs clocking in over 6 minutes and the shortest one over four minutes, they give you your money’s worth in every way. I get to review a lot of music, but rarely is it as much fun as finding something that you have been missing.
Rating: 8/10 – Musically they are there. Just need a great story to help build the lore for the weavers.
Reviewed by Prof on May 19th, 2010