LEFAY

"SOS" (Noise Records)

Reviewed by Christopher J. Kelter

Swedish stalwarts Lefay are all about music and not about image. Lefay, who had four CDs under the name Morgana Lefay, have now produced "SOS" which is their third under their new moniker. "SOS" is like a hard rock CD with serious European metal influences rather than a metal CD with hard rock leanings.

Lefay plays a pleasing mix of Scandinavian power metal with only the slightest touch of the Gothenburg sound, healthy doses of German/English metal influences (think Gamma Ray and Iron Maiden), some old school thrash thrown in for good measure, and solid percussive tendencies. Use of acoustic guitar gives the band a richer, fuller sound that's rarely heard in the new millennium. The thrashy workout like "The Quest For Reality" and "What Dreams Forebode" are highlights while the epic "The Choice" ends the CD in a great manner. 

The vocals sound a bit like latter day James Hetfield in its style combined with the melodic voicing of Hansi Kursch; the cool vibrato of the vocals is an added plus. The vocals combine the best of the gruff style that fits so well with hard rock, but with enough flowing vocal inflections to please any metal aficionado. 

The lyrics are centered around a fantasy/sci-fi realm with some left-field inclusions including surreal salvation, the impending decay of our amoral world, apocalyptic visions, and point-of-no-return decisions. 

Lefay is an under-appreciated band and I still can't figure out why this band doesn't have the collective ear of metal fans everywhere. I am predicting great things for Lefay as the metal scene continues to grow artistically and continues to expand its fanbase. 

"SOS" would be solid addition to anyone's collection that favors hard music, infectious melodies, and memorable songs. 

"SOS" was produced by Lefay. Mixing was done by Fredrik Nordstrom (In Flames, Opeth) at the famous Studio Fredman. 

Lefay is Charles Rytokonen on vocals, Peter Grehn and Tony Eriksson on guitars, Micke Asentorp on bass, and Robin Engstrom on drums. Stefan Sundin guests by playing acoustic guitar on "The Choice."  

For more information visit http://www.lefay.com/

Rating Guide:

A classic. This record will kick your ass.

Killer. Not a classic but it will rock your world.

So-so. You've heard better.

Pretty bad. Might make a nice coaster.

Self explanatory. Just the sight of the cover makes you wanna hurl.

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