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Album Review: Lord - Digital Lies

19 February 2013 | 10:06 am | Brendan Crabb

The greater breadth means grizzled metal fans may not appreciate certain aspects of Digital Lies. Most other heavy music fans, however, are sure to be willing to hear their truth.

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Initial spins of this record are akin to watching an early Jackie Chan flick. They do all the work, yet somehow you're the one left exhausted. The latest disc from these Wollongong/Sydney melodic metallers throws countless styles, layers and nuances at you throughout an hour.

Fortunately, there are gigantic hooks to latch onto; more anthems than medal day at the Olympic pool, actually. These aren't the only running themes, though; there is a futuristic undercurrent throughout, achieved via grandiose synths, samples and selected lyrics exploring a technologically-dominated, dystopian future. For a band whose many influences largely stem from decades past, it provides a striking contrast. The diversity may be jarring for some, but a palpable honesty – and exceptional musicianship – ensures they can as convincingly deliver power metal or Bay Area thrash as '80s pop. Harmony-drenched Point Of View's chorus of is out-and-out Blind Guardian worship. The title track recalls Queensrÿche, as does the enormous, AOR-inflected Walk Away. Final Seconds pays homage to former incarnation Dungeon, while 2D Person In A 3D World is shamelessly dumb cock rock. It's an infectious, amusing prod not just at metal-heads (“The one thing that's harder than you/Is how hard you try”), but anyone taking their devotion far too seriously to function. They inject further variety via piss-taking shred-fest Because We Can and the orchestral, Conan The Barbarian-inspired closer Battle Of Venarium – think Symphony X remixed by Hans Zimmer.

The greater breadth means grizzled metal fans may not appreciate certain aspects of Digital Lies. Most other heavy music fans, however, are sure to be willing to hear their truth.