Artist: Lava Engine
Title: In Limbo
Genre: Progressive Rock
Release Date: Spring 2010
Label: Self Released
LAVA ENGINE is a progressive rock band that developed in 2006 from Sweden. Composed of Magnus Florin on vocals and guitars, Ronnie Jaldemark on guitar and keyboards, Simon Dahlstrom on bass, and Mick Nordstrom on drums and backing vocals, the band has released one mini album and recently, their debut. While short, the album is full of lush melodies in the vein of PARADISE LOST, DREAM THEATER, OPETH, and other progressive acts that is sure to please any prog head.
‘In Limbo’ is only five tracks, but each spawns about past six minutes, granting at least a half hour’s worth of music without becoming too monotonous. The album opens with ‘Drain Your Soul’ which is heavy and dark, featuring lots of crunching guitar and lots of haunting synth. Florin croons away in an OPETH-like style and even the solos sound a lot like that which has been heard on OPETH’s ‘Damnation’ album. However, there’s also a great layer of beauty behind dark chords as there’s often some more quiet sections when it comes to the guitars and the drums tapping away in the background. The title track is very acoustic sounding and is a bit mellower than ‘Drain’ but it also offers some great bass melodies from Dahlstrom and crunching melodies from Jaldemark during the heavier sections.
‘Common Ground’ is a thick with distortion and swallows the listener up in melancholy as it doesn’t sound as clean as the other songs, mostly because it relies on chords. ‘Ctrl Z’ as strange as the title is, draws on a METALLICA influence as it rocks away between harder riffs and progressive melodies from the keyboards, and the guitars even sound spacey at times. The album closer, as fast as it comes, ‘Window Closer’ is a hard rock pounder that sounds like something DREAM THEATER would do. Florin’s voice sounds a bit rawer, but offers more power than his softer vocals, and the drums are an excellent backing instrument. A strong finish!
The closest comparison that IN LIMBO’s musical style can be made towards is OPETH. Many of the guitar melodies can be found off of ‘Ghost Reveries’ or ‘Damnation’, and if ‘Lava Engine’ had growling to feature they’d sound exactly like them. Overall the music is both exciting and depressing, some of the best blends of progressive rock. ‘Lava Engine’ never tries to make the same song twice so that is a plus, and everything is clean with no fuzziness to distract the instrumentation. A great listen for anyone who enjoys progressive rock or rock in general that doesn’t lean towards the too heavy or too soft meter on the scale.
01. Drain Your Soul (6:23)
02. In Limbo (6:07)
03. Common Ground (4:56)
04. Ctrl Z (6:35)
05. Window Closer (6:18)
Magnus Florin - vocals and guitars
Ronnie Jaldemark - guitar and keyboards
Simon Dahlstrom - bass