Lutharo – Chasing Euphoria (Atomic Fire Records)

Friday, 15th March 2024
Rating: 9 / 10

Slow, gradual movement in the underground can often pay huge dividends when opportunity strikes to make a major move from DIY, self-released offerings to a burgeoning label deal with well-respected people at the helm. Case in point for Canadian band Lutharo – together for over a decade, they’ve released three previous EPs and a full-length Hiraeth, all the while building a buzz through some North American tour action playing stages with Unleash the Archers, Alestorm, and Paladin to name a few. Ready to elevate their sound to a wider array of metal followers, Chasing Euphoria contains all the dynamic diversity necessary to garner more than its fair share of appeal across melodic death, power, thrash and modern audiences.

Exemplary execution of when to let certain rhythm mechanics groove or propel the next engaging riff sequence keeps a track like “Time to Rise” top of mind in the memorable category – check out the bass/drum unison highlight reel work from Chris Pacey and Cory Hofing around the 3:00-3:32 mark. Influences come from all across the North American to European landscape – twin guitar lines a la In Flames that soon ride into highway power heaven for “Born to Rise”, all the way to sophisticated Arch Enemy meets Unleash the Archers atmosphere as far as the broader extreme to melodic seesaw battle that occurs in “Strong Enough to Fall”. Beyond the dramatic, orchestrated intro “Gates of Enchantment” to set the record off in a cinematic way, most listeners will be impressed immediately by the diversity and convincing versatility of vocalist Krista Shipperbottom right away when she explodes with force on “Reaper’s Call”. She can summon those guttural screams with remarkable clarity yet articulate in equal power from a clean melodic perspective – the galloping title cut as well as moving seven-minute “Freedom of the Night” a testament to her upper echelon ability as a singer. The flow of the record contains enough peaks as well as controlled transitions to not overwhelm the listener – making sure to allow the catchy runs, hooks, and melodies to be hammered home easily.

Prepare to hear a lot more from Lutharo as they aim to hit the road even harder than ever before. Chasing Euphoria contains all the ideal elements one could want in a multi-pronged metal outfit today – once again highlighting the strength, passion, and tenacity of the Canadian metal movement to the world.

Lutharo official website

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