Posted by: Nicky ()
Date: October 25, 2000 03:29AM

Lamorna are a wonderful new German AOR and melodic rock band who are simply a cut above most other bands in the buisness and a 'must have' to add to your cd collection.

'The Rainhorse' is a two cd set, and even though this is a home recording, I am pleasantly suprised at how polished the production sound is, clearly alot of time and effort has been crafted into this album, each song is played with tons of emotion and superb professionalism.

The band have been together for around three years, lead frontman Dirk Hackenberg has already recorded albums with the bands Essex (D7), Halifax and Savalage, with Essex probably being familiar to the majority of you.

The first song on the first cd is called 'Mary (I Still Love You)., this song is a super sexy AOR ballad a'la Survivor, Journey, the production is very crisp, Hackenberg puts in a unique performance, his voice here sits very close to Jimi Jamison and the songs hooks will satisfy even the most judgmental of AOR purists,'Mary' is pure quality driven AOR balladry.

Next up is the title track 'The Rainhorse', now this track is one of those irresistible songs, the choruses are heaven sent and colour together AOR and melodic rock, one listen to the chorus and you'll swear your listening to any of the great AOR bands of the eighties, pure class, Hackenberg is one hell of a gifted singer, just check him out, the hooks are also really strong throughout 'The Rainhorse' making this song an instant favourite.

'From Now On' seems to lack the sparkle, partly due to the production, 'How Long' is very melodic, cranking guitars, powerful vocals, this is more like Steve Perry solo material and has a touch of r&b influences.

'How Many Tears' is yet more pure AOR reminding me of Giuffria, Survivor and Faith Nation, the keyboards pick up on this song adding an extra ounce of class to another great song. And it doesn't end there, check out the subtle charm of 'You Ain't Got Nothing', the uptempo and very catchy 'Take Me Back'.

The next track 'Living Out Of Touch' really grabbed my attention being one of those goddamn catchy melodic rockers that hit you in the face immeediatley, this ones reminds me of Talisman, Hackenberg's voice is a deadringer for Jeff Scott Soto on this song, the melodies are awesome and this song need to be heard by the masses very badly, it amazes me how many different styles Hackenberg can sing, check out the instrumental 'Still' which closes up disc one reminding me of bands like Survivor, Toto, Say It etc.., the pure harmonies litterally drip in AOR goldness and fade out the cd perfectly.

But it's doesn't end there as Lamorna greet us with a second disc, and like the first cd this is classy AOR and melodic rock to die for.

If your looking for a song with tons of feeling coupled with vocals similar to Jeff Scott Soto then take one listen to the haunting 'Fading Away', a sexy and melodic song which I could go on about for ages, 'Fading Away' opens up the second cd, and oh boy will you be transfixed with the songs calming nature and delecate but sophisticated piano passages which change from classical piano moods into modern progressive synth compositions swapping place every now and again for some nifty little guitar work which will leave your mouth gaping, it happened to hit me whilst I was in a soul searching mood myself and I found this track quite riveting and spiritually expressive, the way Dirk sings this song makes me wonder why no one has taken notice of him before, this is surly a sign of a man about to become one of the most talked about rock singers today?

'Save Me Tonight' is a strong ballad with a westcoast feel, the lyrics are very beautiful and Dirk again sings with such amazing emotion charged power, imagine mixing Jeff Scott Soto with any top class AOR vocalist, that's what you get with this guys enchanting voice.

'Indians' quietly builds into a hard rocker - the songs chorus is pretty strong and features some dotty/jazzy keyboards in the background. 'I Won't Close My Eyes' is one of those songs that would have fitted the voices of Fergie Frederiksen, Mark Free or Kelly Hansen and is a superb mid-tempo AOR ballad., 'After The Fall' is sprinkled with golden synths and has a poppy tinge to it's charming style, which when opens up the song appears very laid-back in a TOTO style, the vocals remind me of Johnny Edwards (Foreigner/King Kobra) mixed with Jeff Scott Soto, a brilliant pure AOR song that you will love to death, very classy indeed.

Then we get to hear another catchy song with lots of keyboards called 'Crime Don't Pay', again the keyboards play a prominent part and change styles to suit the songs mood which often sound melodic and brings to mind bands like Asia and American Tears, through to Talisman etc.. A great song that is very skilfully played.

The last song 'Reprise' is the perfect way to end the album, colouring subtle keyboards with a small hint of guitar work and sax reminding me of Frank Gambale and Shawn Lane..

With 'The Rainhorse' Lamorna have cunningly avoided falling into a fate of obscurity, the bands ability to express feeling into their instruments and lyrics is rarely bettered, a label who specialises in AOR should snap Lamorna up right away, but don't hold your breath as most labels these days seem unsuportive of new bands, which is such a shame as Lamorna are a band with huge potential. My advise to you is to email the band and buy the album direct, I assure you that you will not be disappointed with 'The Rainhorse' - one of my favourite albums of the year, I'm biased!!!


Review by Nicky Baldrian

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SubjectViewsWritten ByPosted
LAMORNA - GREAT NEW UNSIGNED BAND565 Nicky 10/25/2000 03:29AM
Speaking of stupid band names 163Captain Chaos10/25/2000 05:26AM
Stun Leer 171 Mrpool 10/26/2000 07:29AM
RE: Stun Leer 188 Tom Krupa 10/28/2000 02:18AM
RE: Lamorna (the name)... 230 Don 10/29/2000 03:35AM
RE: LAMORNA - GREAT NEW UNSIGNED BAND 181 Carl 10/25/2000 06:55AM
RE: LAMORNA - GREAT NEW UNSIGNED BAND 186 Tom Krupa 10/25/2000 10:08PM

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