June 13, 2013 in Uncategorized
Today we go on a journey – we will listen to the 2012 album of LYE, an album that is best enjoyed as a whole. As I have written in the previous article, LYE is not a band that you just listen to on your way to work or whilst ironing your shirts. It is a band that deserves your full attention. These days more and more people find this difficult though as we seem to have less and less time available. I personally love nothing better than to take a couple of hours and just listen to music. Nothing else. I always find it great to see that on the other hand still so many people are going to live concerts – including myself. Here and there you can even find me at the Opera or at a Symphonic Orchestra concert – for the experience and to make sure the music has my undivided attention.
Before we review the latest LYE album called Point Of Origin, we need to catch up briefly on their biography. Last time we stopped after the release of their EP called To All Those. Going back to the year 2008, LYE was going to work on their first full album. In the process though their drummer left LYE and they were stuck with an album that did not meet their expectations. Their short biography does not provide any kind of information on what happened between 2008 and 2010 but I promise that these questions will be answered in an upcoming interview. It probably doesn’t matter but it sometimes helps to understand the music and the band better, to get an overall picture.
We hop straight to 2010 when LYE set out to create an album that would differentiate them from all other records in St. Louis and far beyond. I am not trying to spoil the following sentences but I might as well spill the beans: Mission accomplished! LYE highlights that they wanted to include all of their influences which clearly is the main reason why they have released such an amazing long player. I will not tell you what bands have influenced them, it is best you listen for yourselves and make up your own mind – if I start writing down names, you may be biased which could spoil your listening experience.
To get the job done, Keegan Roundcount (drums) and Dave Gregory (guitar) joined LYE in 2012. At first there were some discussions on how the new album should be recorded and at the end they took the decision to do it themselves except for the mixing. This part was done by Widek Music in Poland and lead to the subsequent release of Point Of Origin in December 2012. The album has a length of 48:10 minutes (yes, I used Excel to get to that number, I am seriously losing it) and it marks the point were all of LYE comes together: Point Of Origin – makes sense huh?
Time to review this long player so sit back and enjoy the ride. To make this experience worth your while, I will take a break in between so you can enjoy one of their tracks. The first song on Point Of Origin is Into The Sky and it begins very gentle. The bass got my immediate attention in this part and it is complemented by a nice, crisp sounding melody on the guitars. This underlying melody – which provides the basis for the remainder of Into The Sky - sounds somewhat simple and yet it feels quite refreshing. For the first few seconds Nate is not actually singing but rather speaks the first few sentences in a voice that is somewhere between modulated and monotonic, almost with a Gregorian touch. The song is full of finesse and I enjoy the way they get more and more into it, increasing the intensity before they eventually slow down again. Nate shows quite a spectrum on vocals – from fairly normal (yet very clear) to controlled screams.
Looking at this album as one piece rather than a compilation of unrelated songs, Chance smoothly connects the first track with Shards Of Glass. Chance is vocals only featuring similar characteristics as the first few seconds on Into The Sky.
We continue our beautiful voyage with Shards Of Glass and get to experience a rich and strong opening. Despite the initial density I notice the drums in particular. It’s the prelude to a tune that makes me feel a bit melancholic and yet the melodic parts are somewhat dreamy. Overall there is definitely a sense of longing in this track. Nate proves once more that he can do melodic stuff as well as convincing me on the tougher parts. On a few sequences you will notice that his voice was recorded in multiple layers, I call that added value. The synthesizer comes in at the right times and like in the first track, the bass gets quite some much appreciated attention. This is something that is quite unusual actually. The whole band shows a really great performance, not just on this piece but throughout the album.
The more I listen to LYE the more I think that their music would also make a really decent soundtrack to a variety of movies or series. I could imagine the Mason boys returning from a though battle with aliens (Falling Skies), worn out, rough as hell, walking down demolition alley and holding their rifles. Not Here Not Now is such a track. It has a bit of a war feeling as the bass is being used as some sort of machine gun. Gregory and David do some amazing work on their guitars, letting me drift away for a bit. This song proves that you have to make time for LYE if you want to experience the emotions I have mentioned before.
Awake is a very short piece that lasts for a bit more than a minute, somewhat simplistic but intentional as you will be ready for Sheepes And Wolves which is rather though compared to the previous tracks, you find yourself all of a sudden stuck between a fight of Black Metal versus Death Metal – and even though it may not be my favourite piece on this album, I am convinced meaning that it sounds authentic. LYE has proven that they are well able to take a gentle and sensitive approach but they will always ensure to stick to their roots. LYE is indeed a progressive Metal Band! Let’s take a quick break and listen to Shards Of Glass.
Hope you enjoyed that folks! With Once And For All we have quite a long piece ahead of us (07:16). There is lots to be said about this wonderful tune. It seems an extremely challenging piece from a technical point of view. LYE has proven before that they are well up for it and it is just awesome to surf along with them on this beautiful wave. The guitars are complementing Nate’s voice to a stunning level. I need to give a big compliment to Dylan and Keegan who make themselves heard in the less gentle parts. LYE fully understands that each instrument is a vital part. I was also told that somewhere in this album a banjo is brought in – even though I figured out that this is the case on the green man song later on, I think there is a small fraction in the beginning of this one too. If not, well, that means I was wrong.
Next in line is Inhuman Abstraction. Another gentle reminder of the fact that LYE knows very well how to play it rough and tough if needs be. The five gentlemen seem to always find the right balance in their songs. From emotional rollercoasters, overwhelming melodies to straight forward Metal, it all works out. Instead of just making an average Metal piece, they pack their influences, technical abilities and passion into their own musical lucky bag and once their creative work is done, they take it back out and present it in a completely different and for me rather unusual way. Normally quite the opposite of what I enjoy but it really works amazingly well. They have their own way and they are well able to differentiate themselves from the vast majority. It has served me as a reminder to take even more time to get to know different styles (well….Metal subgenres…we’re not talking Justin or Jay Z here). It is a journey, a beautiful one with many discoveries.
Enjoy Your Stay Man In Green! I love the title of this one and you can actually imagine the UFO landing slowly in some random field in Missouri while listening to the first part. The synthesizer is creating a bit of a scary atmosphere, I am quite convinced that if I’d play this one at home and turn off the lights at the same time, the wife would actually get scared. Just like myself. After the intro (which actually proved me right on the Falling Skies soundtrack theory) they now bring in the banjo for good. Banjo does not work for me but it might do the trick in Missouri, I really don’t know. It is just one of these instruments that I will never get. The melody of the track makes up for that to some extent. I may not make any sence at all on the following sentences but surely most of you will agree that the banjo is pretty much a typical American instrument. Surely, Wikipedia will tell you it could have its origin fuck knows anywhere in the world but really, let’s not overdo it. So now I am about to lose all my credit but is it just me who figures that there is a bit of an Arabic touch to this part of the song? It almost makes me forget the banjo…well played.
Amends is the last and longest song of the album. Now the lads take out the acoustic guitar and show how much more they have to give. I can drift away and enjoy my vivid imagination. In fact it is so vivid that I hear the sound of a harp which brings the beauty of the first part of Amends to another level. I am convinced that you will enjoy this just as much. Seeing that this track is more than 10 minutes long we can of course expect way more from LYE and so after 3:30 they start rocking away. Nate told me a couple of days ago that they were all raised on Classic Rock and this album pays homage to that. It really shows well on this particular piece of music. Such variety, so much attention to detail and what a way to round things up by making sure that all of the instruments come through individually in the different segments of Amends.
I told you right at the beginning that this was going to be a journey and I am sure you will agree that it has been a beautiful one. Listen to Point Of Origin on Bandcamp where you also have the possibility to download the full album for an amazing price. There is a lot of great music out there which makes it so difficult for most bands to make it to the top. I can see that day by day when I listen to many other Unknown Metal Bands. LYE has demonstrated though that they have a huge potential and they have already delivered even though as artists I am sure they may never be 100% satisfied. Seeing that LYE brings something very unique to the table, I am convinced that they are going to make it. Thank you LYE for the awesome experience and thank you all for reading and visiting my website. Remember, you will also find LYE and myself on Facebook – every LIKE is much appreciated. To wrap things up, take 48:10 minutes of your valuable time and enjoy listening to LYE – Point Of Origin!
One more thing I forgot though: I asked in the last article what the hell it is about IT guys and Heavy Metal (seeing that Nate is actually into IT). Well, the answer remains unknown however, according to a study done by the University of Warwick amongst 1000 members of the National Academy for Gifted and Talented Youth, more than a third mentioned Heavy Metal as their favourite music. Heavy Metal makes you smarter!
I may get a decent beating for saying this but after listening to the first few tracks, it was a no-brainier to figure out that LYE has its roots in the United States of America. LYE combines a few extremely important qualities. Their tracks present a great deal of technical challenge and yet they have no trouble in exceeding these expectations. It seems to be in their DNA to make each track an exclusive one – even though here and there I hear the odd element that would remind me of another band, it remains almost impossible to compare them to anything I have heard before. LYE is not just writing great songs, they are creating an experience. I would not listen to LYE on my way to work or at home whilst doing something else – they deserve our full attention. You want to focus 100% on each and every track. You will hear melodic and rather slow parts with strong vocals as well as frequent loud and progressive Rock resp. Metal parts. LYE does not fit into any drawer and yet progressive seems a good description. Progressive stands for more complex and sophisticated instrumentation and compositions, it stands for longer songs, superior vocals as well as more complex conceptual ideas. I believe this is a good match for LYE but at the end of the day what always matters the most is the way you feel about the music! Identifying sub-genres is a though job but then again, I am so grateful that I am not into Electro House – terms like Moombahton or Complextro would fuck me up completely!
Well, to bring back some structure to this article, let’s start from scratch. Frontman Nathan Storm and lead guitar player George McClintock formed LYE back in the mid 2000′s. Their objective was to create a modern Metal band with hints or elements of classic rock and progressive Metal. A few years down the road (January 2007), their first EP was released: To All Of Those! You will notice that they also have a bass player by now – Dylan Parker. The EP was played around the St. Louis area and that is reason enough to dig in deep and to take a listen to all the tracks on this extended play!
I wasn’t lying when I said that progressive also stands for longer songs! The EP starts with The Devil And His Queens - a track that slightly exceeds the 7 minute mark. Kicking off like a proper Metal track with heavily distorted guitars, it goes almost into ballad mode soon after. At this stage Nate demonstrates his vocal variety. Long live vocal freedom Ladies and Gentlemen! It gets even better though when Nathan makes the transition from the beautiful melodic part to a close encounter with black metal vocals. Funny enough I can appreciate all the different sequences in this, even though they appear like day and night. You will find out for yourselves by listening to this piece – your reward will be yet another pleasant surprise once you are 4:20 minutes into this track. Make sure you listen all the way through as the ending of this song brings another surprise, an outro that puts an acoustic guitar into the focus and highlights once more the variety LYE has to offer.
The 2nd track called Well is shorter and a bit more straight forward and shows more of a traditional song structure than the previous one – verse and chorus. The guitar as well as the vocals remain the center of attention in this piece. The chorus reminds me of the Portuguese word Saudade: Some sort of a recollection of feelings, experiences, places or events that once brought excitement, pleasure or well-being (source: the friendly people @ Wikipedia) – at least this is how it makes me feel. The feeling of longing for something.
Before I get into Something I need to share my excitement with you. It is day 2 of me writing this article and as you would have read already, LYE should get your full attention when listening to their music. It is once again around 0630 in the morning and it is peaceful outside, a beautiful spring day. I have nothing to distract me, I can really enjoy the music. Even though feelings are difficult to describe, it does have a bit of an impact on my emotional state. I hope you take the time to find out for yourselves – you can trust me on this one.
Moving on to the 3rd track on this EP, we will experience a certain vocal weirdness right at the beginning. Nathan sounds almost grumpy and yet I believe it goes well with the gentle sound of the guitars in the background. Decent Metal riffs thereafter remind me that I have not left my comfort zone yet and that I am writing about Unknown Metal Bands. It is clear though that giving LYE the characteristics of a standard Metal Band would be completely wrong – the main reason is the fact that there is too much variety and complexity in their compositions.
The title song of this EP - To All Of Those - seems to highlight the drums a bit more than before. This tune has a more gentle approach, a beginning that comes across as jazzy, hence why I have noticed the drums more than in the previous tracks. The main focus remains though on vocals, guitars and to some extent the bass. The feelings associated with Saudade hit me throughout this song. Even though To All Of Those does not remain in soft-mode, the emotions as such remain. This song has it all, from distorted guitars, guitar solo, a bass that blends in well and more than before, a drummer that seems to pound away more intensively than beforehand.
Before you finish reading the article, you may want to listen to this amazing piece of music!
We finish this review with The Sore. A track that starts with sounds that remind me of a medieval French troubadour. Surely a more modern instrument was being used – likely a guitar. The melody and this medieval feeling underlines a big part of The Score and it is a welcome change.
I do admit that I have not obtained lyrics for this particular album, the world wide web did not support me for once. However, having had a chance to take a glance at the lyrics of the 2012 album Point Of Origin makes me believe that this may be a bit of a weakness I have. Honestly speaking, I have received a bashing once before for trying to read into lyrics and I was told that I was completely off. Then again I have covered Dust Trial who wants the listener to make up his own mind. I am not a deeper meaning kind of guy – the lyrics I can work with would go as follows:
I went to this bar, ordered a few shots, next thing I know, I woke up beside my grandmothers best friend, she had a ring around her finger etc etc.
Flying on wings of steel, we enter through the Gates of Valhalla, our swords held high, with pride in our hearts….
I am a fairly limited person. So forgive me if I am not always giving you my view on every little detail. For this purpose my friends humanity has invented a thing called INTERVIEW and rest assured, once the articles on LYE are done and dusted with, I am going to ask them a lot of questions.
This concludes part 1 of the LYE article, part 2 will follow within the next 10 days. In the meantime, I will have the pleasure of writing smaller pieces on some other bands that have been in contact (and patient). We are far from done with LYE, we need to know what has happened to their first drummer, what went on after the EP came out and most importantly: What the fuck is it with IT guys and Heavy Metal?
JUST BILLS 4-13-13
By Matt Vatole
LYE is a great live performance to see in the St Louis local scene. Having known of them for many years and never seeing them live I was very pleased for my wait because it was well worth the time.. They deliver a pounding style of rock fused with metal that not only makes you throw your fist in the air but the melodic hooks seem to carry you away into the sound. I have not seen many bands with such dedication to the Fans of their music as I seen while watching before,during and after their performance.From the start to finish the entire set was filled with ambiance. That made each song begin the next song so you were never left with anything but a wall of sound that seemed to penetrate every one of your senses. Nate’s vocals are the glue bringing this band’s music together. He is powerful and imaginative about his direction and content and with the flow of the music. Keegan and Dylan’s rhythm section feels like that of a perfect marriage. George and Dave’s guitar make tones that are completely heartfelt along with blistering riffs that will please any headbanger. If you ever get a chance to see LYE you will leave knowing you will want to see the show again.
LYE will be at Pointfest 2013!!
March 3, 2013 in Youtube
Lye joins instagram! Last night we went to a recording studio to track a song and fired up an instagram account to keep people connected. After the night was over we had 80 pictures showing everyone’s setup and all the stages in between. Needless to say, we’re going to keep this account around for a while for instant delivery of pics related to shows and recording.
Follow us at www.instagram.com/lyeband
February 14, 2013 in Reviews
Ok, I definitely enjoyed listening to your band. I am not saying you should be privileged, that is just my opinion, I do not have to like every band I review here. What’s imperative to your success is you have to really identify what makes your band unique and evolve from that, because the music industry is saturated with bands that have good melodic breakdowns, frequent time changes and screaming/singing vocals.
What makes LYE better than them ? I hope you know? I will tell you why I think you are different and why I will add you to my bands to listen to now, and for years I do not warm up to new bands that easily and it’s not because I am old school it’s because there are too many bands that sound the same and its all been done and the music industry knows that.
What I thought was unique about your band was collectively there was no weak links, along with the talented vocals having a wide range of expression which is where listeners will connect to right away, they want to feel the feelings in the vocals and of coarse the music too. I am a drummer so the first thing I hear is the drums and I definitely love the technique, sound and accuracy with the bass guitar and I LOVE that I can hear the Bass guitar. I like that your guitarist is very capable of solos but doesn’t over do it and the rhythms of the guitars dual as a synth to give the songs more composure and balance at just the right times, and yes I went ahead and listened to most of your songs to get a full effect of the progression of your music from your demo to this album. I see big things for you this year if you are properly represented.
February 13, 2013 in Uncategorized
Ali Naderzad is the founder and editor of ScreenComment. He has written for Blackbook, Anthem, Planet and About.com.
Full of wide melodic reprises, alt.metal swagger and a technical prowess that will turn heads, “Point of Origin” by St Louis outfit Lye (not to be mistaken with Lye by mistake) is well worth a listen. Or many, in fact. With its unusual time signature and lyrics about man’s perdition “Point of Origin” bursts with timbre, roughness and vibrancy that makes this progressive rock/ metal groove album obligatory listening and a potentially key player in the hard rock/metal scene this year.
What struck me about Lye first-hand is its apparent refusal to fit in any particular box. The aptly-named “Point of Origin” which came out in December and is the band’s debut L.P., is a tribute to non-conformism (even though it may not have been the intent). The group’s influences run the gamut from Reznor, Manson and Tool to Radiohead, Yes and Led Zeppelin. But the whole is definitely greater than the sum of its parts. This is a staunchly metal band making exceptional music, all hard angles and gentle curves.
The album contains ten songs, each averaging 4.6 minutes for a total running time of fifty minutes. Some are savage-tender odes to man’s failure (I will die in this story / I will pass along my thoughts / I will leave those who need me / I will turn my back on those) and in others Lye confronts some leader, lover or a god (what is your real name / what is your connection / I remember the promises you made / and your blatant misdirection). Lots of questions are asked, but few answers received.
Some tracks have a cinematic quality to them. I watched the next blockbuster unfold in my mind to the sounds of “Shards of Glass,” the best candidate for a single release. Lye was the mainstage winner at the last Pointfest in May. With a properly-managed tour to support the release of “Point of Origin,” they have the potential to chart quite strongly in 2013.
February 13, 2013 in Youtube
Here’s a full band play through of one of our latest tune from the PointofOrigin Album called Once and for all. Make sure to subscribe to our youtube channel here.
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February 8, 2013 in Youtube
Here’s a play through of one of our latest tune from the PointofOrigin Album called Once and for all. Make sure to subscribe to our youtube channel here.
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