Lör – Edge of Eternity EP Reveal, Music Videö Premiere and Review!

I’m good at keeping secrets, but the past couple of months or so have tested my limits. After all, how does one hide the existence of a brand new record from the entire world – including their blog colleagues? In agony, that’s how! But that’s the way Lör wanted this done, and I’ll be damned if I’ll deny the creators of the best album I’ve ever reviewed the opportunity to spring an incredible surprise on their fans. That surprise is the reveal of a brand new EP – Edge of Eternity – available right now on Lör’s Bandcamp page.

Because they’re such sweethearts, the Lör böys also gave me the privilege of debuting their first ever music video alongside this review, for the song “Ruin,” which you can find in the accompanying review below. It’s a tremendous track, and probably not what you would expect if you’re familiar with the band’s past material. As for the video itself, well, who’s to say? I’m going to watch it for the first time right alongside the rest of you, just so I can partake in a small shred of surprise. From what I hear it’s an impressively professional production, and definitely not pornography. Probably. I seriously did not check.

It feels good to be writing about Lör again after almost three years. Their magnificent debut record, In Forgotten Sleep, remains my favorite discovery in my tenure at this blog. It wasn’t just a great achievement of deeply progressive and catchy-as-shit power metal; it carries an almost mythical vibe, borne partially of DiY grit and underground mystique, that I’ve never encountered elsewhere. New material from Lör, then, is a vital wellspring for a specific musical craving. While I might have preferred a full-blown record, their new EP Edge of Eternity scratches that itch with a massive swipe. Its condensed nature allows for greater focus on unexpected corners of the band’s sound, yet loses absolutely none of the charm.

Lör packs a lot of variety into this half-hour excursion, but most of it is spent on what they arguably do best: thrashing. “Upon a Withered Heart,” “A Life Once Known,” and the title track exhibit the band in their fastest, propelled by Peter Hraur’s immaculate folk leads. Those leads have doubled down on jubilant excess, yet Lör’s periodic blasts of extreme metal weigh the proceedings so as not to float into folk metal fluff. The rhythmic turns these three songs take make for absolutely breakneck pacing, with each turn of a new passage being so exhilarating as to put a smile on my face with every single listen. And I’ve listened to Edge of Eternity excessively, as the uncommonly smart prog stylings ensure that the fun makes for rewarding replays.

The remaining two tracks may surprise Lör fans, as they are far more contemplative yet no less engaging. “Ruin” sounds like Manticora dabbling in symphonic black metal, with chuggy rhythms dueling with melodramatic movements. It’s the EP’s strongest grower, with a deeply satisfying logical line connecting its many sprawling ideas. “Relic,” meanwhile, is an outright ballad, invoking early Sonata Arctica in its icy atmosphere and melancholic lyrical theming. It’s surprisingly moving, yet still manages to pack in an unforgettable solo, and also exhibits what is far and away Tyler Fedeli’s most compelling vocal performance to date.

The only real gripe I have with this EP is its mixing, which is louder than hell and more crushed than its predecessor. But it is well balanced, allowing a platform for new bassist Nick Bonsanto to flex his significant progressive muscle. As a self-produced independent release, loudness is forgivable, especially for an up and comer as fresh and impressively talented as Lör. Edge of Eternity may be a stepping stone to a sophomore full-length, but it already possesses the hallmarks of musical growth one hopes for in an artist as they evolve between their main releases. Proving themselves as capable of much more than one-off miracle, Lör is fucking back, and is now more strongly poised than ever to become the next big thing in American progressive, folk, and power metal. Yes, all three.

Rating: 4.0/5.0
DR: n/a | Format Reviewed: 320 kbps mp3
Label: Self-Release
Websites: halloflor.bandcamp.com | facebook.com/lorofficial
Releases Worldwide: May 15th, 2020

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