Lancaster – Journeys review

JOURNEYS FRONT COVERFor fans of the likes of Young Guns and Mallory Knox, Spanish quintet Lancaster are branching out across Europe with their debut album, Journeys, to be released worldwide on 17th November. This eleven track release mixes intense riffs, captivating lyrics and anthemic vocals to forge a record that’s bound to shock a truck load of energy into their existing fan base, and surge their name across the world in no time. Journeys is an alt-rock album to be reckoned with.

A long, intense riff sets the tone of the album and when Die Young eventually kicks in after a slow start, it’s worth the wait. Despite the raw power of the record through the vocals, it manages to feel both loud yet still slightly withheld; the energy is encapsulated in the music, but the listener still feels distanced. That said, the chanting vocals – which grow to be a common feature on the album – are enough to leave you wanting to chant along to even the recorded version, and a catchy albeit cliched chorus rounds off the tick-box for a solid commencement.

The clear vocals of Bridges make this an accessible follow-up, with the same irresistibility to become word-perfect on the track. An unnatural trait present on the record is noticeable here first and becomes more obvious throughout; almost all the tracks close very similarly. Although continually fading tracks out is hard a make-or-break deal, it feels as though they’re not entirely sure how to wind things up.

Contrasting the closes, single As Wild As Tigers launches open without a pause, with percussion driving it along. This is the sort of track that’s made for a live show; nothing could suit a strobe lighting party like this could. A token breakdown ropes in edited vocals, but the life of the track sweeps over the cliche, and it fits together smoothly. Deadly Sins holds the most confident opening on the release, before sub-minute and a half interlude Hallelujah touches on the delicate and calming side to the band’s sound.

The Beast In Me breaks open the second half of the album with war chant-esque vocals, and although underneath the finer details the sound begins to touch on samey, the slurred vocals on this track embellishes it enough to set it apart. However, the real standout song on the record comes in the form of Runaway; with a desperate sense of questioning piercing through the vocals, and an impressive instrumental extending the track to over four minutes.

Slower and more intense for it, Thorns still manages to remain uplifting, powering into penultimate Young Blood (Take Me Higher). This track really highlights the extent of the control in the piece, a tight rise and fall leading to a more obvious vocal emphasis. In contrast, closing Love Is A War We Have Lost falls into a Brand New-esque opening of hollowness and distanced sound. Before it’s gentle close, the builds up in flavour at moments but remains a personal favourite for the depth and variation it presents.

Caught up between the riffs and vocals of any old alt-rockers, these five have created a touching and powerful piece supported with solid power to make a promising start to their European break.

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