Lothlöryen – Some Ways Back Some More
Reviewed by Christopher Foley
So this is my first taste of Lothlöryen. I have to admit it’s pretty cool to hear a Brazilian act shying away from the prevalent genre trends common in their home territory. No, you won’t hear anything to remind of Angra or Hibria here, as Lothlöryen draw their craft from the likes of Blind Guardian and Elvenking, adding their own personal spin to create a sound both contemporary and their own.
Whilst Some Ways Back No More first dropped in 2008, I’m inspecting the re-release version of the album. It has been partially re-recorded, features some new vocals courtesy of their current Daniel Felipe, as well as a bright new mix and master. Oh, and let’s not forget some particularly sweet new art. As I’m new to Lothlöryen I can’t really comment on how it compares to the original, but what I can say is that the release sounds fresh and relevant, and could fit in quite nicely with acts like Orden Ogan and Solar Fragment.
I do have to say there are elements to Lothlöryen which I find a little goofy, the majority of which stem from daft Hobbit songs and general Tolkien worship; although my girlfriend can appreciate it – maybe it’s just me. That aside, the music is very well developed, with a load of interesting guitar work and engaging rhythms throughout. Be it honouring mid-period Blind Guardian or unleashing bouncy ditties that will no doubt have your flagon swinging wildly. If the Green Dragon had a jukebox, then I’m sure Lothlöryen would be on and played at length.
Across the board I’ve found little wrong with Some Ways Back Some More. Any of the aforementioned goofy elements are largely quelled by means of Felipe’s endearing, yet gruff vocal approach. Plus, the music is seriously good – very German in its utilization, with a certain degree of focus given to riffs. “Hobbits’ Song” (despite its daft lyrics) and the title track show both sides of Lothlöryen’s riffing spectrum, although I’d say it’s their guitar melodies where I’ve found myself truly won over by the band. They’re just so catchy, and particularly appealing to the ears.
The folk side of the band is certainly something which can’t be overlooked, and they fall into the same category as Falconer here. There’s little reliance on fiddles or violins, as they convey their folk elements through molten steel: further proof that legitimate folk elements can be delivered sans all that daft jigging crap. Overall, I’d definitely recommend checking Lothlöryen out, and this is certainly a good place to start. Endearing and enjoyable, and with enough of its own stamp of identity to warrant a place in any serious power metal fans collection Some Ways Back No More is great, provided you can enjoy a good deal of folksy swagger.
3.75 // 5