Album review: LESOIR – Luctor Et Emergo

LESOIR - Luctor Et Emergo

The PR blurb for their latest release would have you believe Transience received rave reviews beyond their homeland.  If that’s true, they’re well hidden from Google’s search engine.

The sessions for Luctor Et Emergo sees the band (Maartje Meessen – vocals, keys, flute, guitar, Eleen Bartholomeus – vocals, keys, guitar, percussion, Ingo Dassen – guitar, Ingo Jetten – bass, bass synth, and Bob Van Heumen – drums) re-united with producer John Cornfield (Muse, Oasis, Supergrass, Stone Roses, Katatonia and New Model Army).

In terms of their CV, the band have shared the stage with the likes of Karnivool, Delain, Within Temptation, Mostly Autumn and The Gathering.  And while some of their quieter passages bear Mostly Autumn, or Magenta hallmarks, they perhaps have more in common with their aforementioned – harder hitting – countrymen (and women).

And therein lies the rub.  Bands like Delain and Within Temptation have pretty much drained the female fronted Dutch [symphonic] metal well dry.  And they themselves are looking for ways to broaden their appeal.

Lesoir seem to have used a template of quiet, almost ambient openings and then BAM – your speaker cones embed themselves in the facing wall.  Yes, there are a lot of melodic sections and some nice playing (bass in particular), but they tend to meander with the explosive, angular metal sections – when they arrive – being a little too abrasive for my taste.

It’s as if Lesoir have yet to find their own path and I suspect – for now – their sound will leave audiences/listeners divided.  The title track – an almost Thomas Dolby-esque piece – with a hypnotic rhythm, sympathetic flute and oratory – suggests a possible way forward.  The building blocks are all there, but more direction is needed.  ***

Review by Pete Whalley

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Pete Feenstra celebrated his 300th show in October 2019. Pete heads up a five-hour blues rock marathon when “Tuesday is Bluesday” from 19:00 GMT. Listen out also for his interview-based Feature show on Sundays (20:00 GMT)

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