Lost In Grey – Odyssey Into the Grey (El Puerto Records)

Monday, 1st April 2024
Rating: 8.5 / 10

When you create a bombastic, theatrical brand of symphonic metal, prepare to launch a massive undertaking that leaves no stone unturned in any department. With inspiration coming from literature, philosophy, the world itself, as well as numerous musical genre styles (across the broad metal spectrum to beyond the borders), Lost in Grey is a seven-piece act from Finland who have released three previous full lengths since their inception a decade ago. After being with Reaper Entertainment for two albums, Odyssey Into the Grey as the fourth studio record sees the group move to El Puerto Records – continuing the path of pulling influences across multiple sources in the hopes of listeners transporting themselves on this fine journey of adventure to glory.

Grandiose movements are a staple of the sound – larger than life theatrical elements to create this array of colors on all fronts. Orchestration meeting choirs next to the normal bass, drums, guitars and dual clean to extreme vocal presence – as a listener you have so much that intoxicates, moving you in multiple ways track by track, the shifts create this atmosphere where all senses align in this meditative, alternative universe situation. The triple threat vocals of keyboardist Harri Koskela, violinist Emily Leone, and singer Anne Lill allows the group to color every track in distinctive, alluring shapes – handling everything from narrative to growl nuances, beyond the normal clean, mid-range to higher gothic or symphonic/operatic melodies. Contrasts fuel anticipation – blackened tremolo riffs next to blast beats while choirs create the circular hooks during “Time” while the follow-up “Two Wolves” could almost be set in a Nordic winter picturesque scene, the chants, folk meets keyboard/orchestral motion next to serene narrative, soothing words ideal in its middle of the album sequencing. It’s rare to hear a band effortlessly combine aspects of Therion, Nightwish, Epica, and Fleshgod Apocalypse while also taking into account movie soundtrack composers, folk, and new age textures into their songwriting, but that’s what you’ll hear throughout these eight tracks.

Thankfully the flourishes of electric guitars and propulsive drumming appear in all the right spots – because often this is a style of metal where the symphonic components could overshadow the natural heavy elements. A children’s choir supplements the Finnish sung “Vem kan segla fooerutan vind”, thunderous in spaces while thoughtful in its pacing over the course of its 7:09 playback, the guitar work of Miika Haavisto and Jarno Suodenjoki mesmerizes while Emily’s violin break adds that classical tension. Packing a lot into these longer arrangements, fear sets in that you could be overwhelmed by all that’s here to process – yet main songwriter keyboardist Harri Koskela executes his ideas in a balanced fashion to ensure maximum earworms beyond the sophistication – the mammoth, eleven-minute title cut a perfect example through its Viking meets symphonic measures with ABBA-like melodies, a driving main riff as well as a middle instrumental sequence to cast your mind into spacious tranquility.

Odyssey Into the Grey showcases Lost in Grey in the highest watershed moment of their career. An ambitious undertaking should pay long-term dividends, especially to those who live for musicians who take the wide lens, far reaching approach to this genre.

Lost In Grey official website

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