Lingua Mortis Orchestra feat. Rage – “LMO”

Lingua Mortis Orchestra feat. Rage – “LMO” (Nuclear Blast Records)

Rage are one of Germany’s classic heavy metal bands having been going for over 3 decades and showing no signs of running outta steam with this 22nd album no less! Not a band to stay constrained by style, Rage chose to record a classical album back in 1996 called “Lingua Mortis” which then became the name associated with orchestras who’ve played with the band since. “LMO” is a continuation of this classical theme, composed entirely by Rage’s guitarist Victor Smolski who, along with the rest of the band added guest vocalists like Metalium’s ex-vocalist Henning Basse and over 100 musicians from 2 Spanish and Russian orchestras. With thoughts of Metallica’s nightmarish “S&M” still requiring therapy, I haveta say “LMO” is anything but that cacophony – in fact, Rage have got it right! Smolski has done an amazing job, and when you learn that he has a degree in classical music and collaborates regularly on classical pieces with his father, a notable Belorussian conductor, it’s easy to see why his talent for incorporating orchestra into metal has seen him work with Atrocity, Leaves Eyes and even scored a few movies! The key to Smolski’s success is in his experience of knowing when to use each instrument based on its greatest capabilities and moreover, the emotions it evokes in the listener. He has then meticulously arranged these into his compositions, based on his detailed research of the album’s overall concept, that of 16th century witch burnings in Germany. The result is a metal opera par excellence, bringing the best of metal and classical in superior songs like ‘Cleansed By Fire’, ‘The Devil’s Bride’ and ‘Straight To Hell’. Smolsk’s work reads like a book and actually brings to life in your mind his concept, which after a while ceases to be music but takes you into the realms of fantasy. Magnificent.

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