Named after the priest in 1971’s “The Exorcist” the traditional Metal band from Germany are a force to be reckoned with their new album “Dark Mother Rises”.
Frontwoman Cat Rodgers does a great job with the material. She’s got a great sense of melody, but puts a lot of power behind her. She’s seems to be very authentic, unlike some classically trained singer who decided to sing in Symphonic Metal band, she knows her Metal and most likely grew up listening to heavy music.
Florian Schulz is the muscle behind the guitar (literally). He seems to have the most experience, his other projects include: Dustsucker, Ferroconcrete, Punish My Heaven, Rapid Stride, ex-Cruzador, ex-Fading Starlight. He and Chris Müller feature some mega fast galloping guitars that could only be described as “blistering”. Impressive work.
Drummer Shawn Layer’s double kick sounds amazing, he’s a machine behind the kit. Very impressive fills and a great in-the-pocket drummer. He and bassist Jan-Philipp Merten give the songs the strength of a bomb shelter.
LANKESTER MERRIN are playing a strait-up NWOBHM influenced style, you know pretty much what to expect and they deliver. Some may say they lack creativity, but as a fan of traditional Metal I don’t want bands messing with the formula, play Metal and play it very well, this is exactly what they do.
Some quick notes on some of the tracks.
‘We Ride The Storm” is a great way to open the album and set the pace, very solid Metal anthem that showcases the band as a whole.
‘Bone Tomahawk’ a great anthem that I could see going over great live, might have the strongest hooks and chorus.
‘Perfect Illusion’ is basically a pop song that they metalized. Very catchy with an 80’s vibe. The biggest surprise on the album that bleeds into the AOR genre.
‘Sweet Lizzie’ was a killer take on Lizzie Borden the axe-murderer. They took the material and did great job making it work, great Metal track.
‘Evil Lives Here’, ironically we’ve been binge-watching the TV show of the same name, I don’t know if it’s based on that show but it easily could have been.
The other songs, ‘Medusa’, ‘My Journey’, ‘Stranger’ and ‘The Heathen’ were solid Metal song as well. I really didn’t find too much fault with any of them.
As a whole it’s a very strong album and only the bands second full-length. I’m going to give them 7.5 of 10 “Flaming Fists”. I’m leaving them a little room to grow and gel as a band, but I think they’re very close to breaking out much bigger.
Lankester Merrin, just founded in 2019, are quickly preparing to become a serious heavyweight in the genre of female fronted melodic/power metal.
“Dark Mother Rises” offers 9 powerful, mature melodic metal hymns, which are performed with a self-conception that even long-established scene greats are sometimes unable to crown their musical work with. The album impresses not only with its razor-sharp riffing, great solos, driving drumming and the incisive voice of Cat Rogers, but also with its unbelievably sophisticated arrangements, which turn almost every song into a catchy one!
“Dark Mother Rises” is a first-class album for all fans of melodic metal who, despite the attribute “female fronted”, do not expect symphonic metal, but simply powerful modern metal of the highest order.
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