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Lyria - Catharsis

Lyria - CD Review




CD Info
10 Tracks
English Lyrics

It is always nice to discover new groups from around the world and Lyria is no exception. They are a three piece, Symphonic Alternative Metal Band from South America. This up and coming band from Rio de Janiero, Brazil, successfully used crowd funding as the means to get the funds for this album. The meaning of the title of the album gives the listener some insight since according to the dictionary; the word means “the process of releasing, and thereby providing relief from, strong or repressed emotions.” Catharsis takes the listener on a journey of light symphonic metal to the darker, more industrial/thrash metal. It is definitely an album worth noting and quite good for their debut album.

Make no doubt; Lyria is the dream and work of singer/ songwriter Aline Happ. She founded the band in 2012 and their first released song was called “Reflection.” This song was inspired by the Narcissus Myth and it was well received. The drummer, Eliezer Andre and bassist, Thiago Zig, became official members in 2013. Lyria comes from Greek Mythology with the lyre, an important musical instrument of the Greeks. Additional inspiration came from the flower lily and lyrics. The successful crowd funding campaign was worldwide with backers from many countries, which enabled the band to complete their first album.

The lyrics are both raw and biting, taking the listener through darkness, despair, rebirth, light, and a renewed hope. Aline’s vocals are at times soaring and other times very emotional and exposed, very similar to Amy Lee from Evanescence. A few times she touches on the outer edges of her vocal range very successfully. Additional help for this album comes from guitarists Celo Oliveira and Sergio Filno. A guest musician also adds to the overall sound of the album in a most positive way. Catharsis was also produced, mixed, and mastered by Celo at Kolera Home Studios. Along with Lyria and Sergio Filno, Celo played a part in the song arrangements.

The first song on the album, “The True War,” sets the tone for this album from the opening power theme with a choral overtone. The drums and guitar open with a traditional rock beat and leads us to the Aline’s vocals. Thiago also joins Aline on vocals in the second verse. He also has a very, almost too short, guitar solo, instead of the bass, also after the second verse. The guitar and drums close out the song with the same rock beat which opened the song. “The True War” gives us insight into what has caused the need for the catharsis and the journey to that end. Some of the lyrics are interesting and provide some insight, which are:

Shut up while I scream and rule
I am in charge of your life
(The) True War happens when the pyramid falls
This is the end of an era
You can send your soldiers to the field
You will never control me
(So don’t try)

Next is the song “Revenge.” The opening has a repeated distorted guitar pattern, played by Celo, which is then doubled by another guitar. Then underneath Aline’s vocals, at times, we have the repeated guitar pattern with a standard rock beat. In addition, during the song, there are times where her voice is very exposed over a light instrumental beat. Also, the band in the second verse/refrain joins her vocals with a choral chant. Throughout the rest of the song, we have the choral chant and Aline going back and forth with the phrases for the rest of the song. There is a nice guitar solo two thirds of the way through the song. Some interesting lyrics in this song include the following, which is repeated after the guitar solo until the end of the song:

Now I am stronger and more self-confident
Nobody will pull me down again
All that I dreamed, all that I wanted
I will get finally my revenge

The songs, “The Phoenix Cry” and “The Phoenix Rebirth” have several aspects that are similar as well as some differences. Besides the use of the “Phoenix,” both songs feature a softer side to Aline’s vocals. In addition, there are some nice vocal harmonies. Differences include the first song being almost a rock ballad while the second one has a harder beat and drive to it. A very nice bass part, played in the upper range, is part of the first song, while the driving drum and guitar open the second one. Lyrics from both songs include:

It’s a hard duty, when people are guilty
And nobody knows what is right (TPC)

Like a Phoenix rebirth
I will live again
I will write my own fate
(And) I will turn the page
Cause I’ll free myself from the cage (TPR)

“Insanity” describes the battle that for some takes place in the mind and the overall struggle. In this song, the instrumentalists are not overpowering and leave the vocals exposed even though it is full instrumentation. Even Celo’s softly played guitar solo fits in nicely with over tone of the song. The biting lyrics are:

I want you away from me
Leave me!
Let me free
I want peace of mind
But you watch me every time
I swear I try to do everything right
Just set me free

The song “What do You Want From Me” opens with a nicely played flute solo by Rafael Picolo, accompanied by acoustic guitar. The vocals are soft yet become more demanding as the song turns to a more metal sound. Toward the end of the song, Aline’s voice is very exposed, after another standard guitar solo, and they are clear as well as haunting. The questioning lyrics include:

What do you want from me?
I’m trying to help
But you are so negative
That I can’t breathe

It was difficult for me to choose a favorite song from this album. There are so many good songs. However, I narrowed it down to two songs. They are “Jester” and “Craven.” After much listening and thought, I chose “Jester” as my favorite. First, though, a little bit about “Craven.” This song is a ballad in all aspects, even though it develops a harder edge later in the song. It is a nice mixture of acoustic guitar, a countermelody by what sounds like a double reed instrument, before the metal edge kicks in. Also, I believe that Thiago provides a nice duet part. The most interesting lyrics are:

I’ve given you my head, my words and my heart
And you have thrown all away
When all I’ve asked (you) was to keep by my side
But you don’t want to stay
Cause you’re craven

This brings me to “Jester,” an all-around well written song. The song opens with guitar power chords and a driving drum beat. The vocals are strong and clear. As a way of making fun, when the vocalist speaks “jester,” the guitar plays an open, arpeggiated part with little else. Later, in the song, the guitar plays a harsh, single note, almost like it is laughing with the vocalist. Another appropriate guitar solo is played by Sergio and the songs ends with the guitars playing the metal power chords. Some lyrics are:

Don’t try to hide this truth deep inside
You know that it’s better to face it
So listen up!!
Stop believing that you are a king
‘Cause you act just like a jester
So wake up! (Jester!)

In addition, Lyria made a video of this song, which is on their YouTube channel, and has been promoted on various social media. The link to the video is here.

Catharsis, overall, is an excellent album, and well written for the debut album. There is a nice variety in the songs throughout without an overabundance of any particular metal genre. For those listeners who like to explore and discover new bands from around the world, this album is a must. The lyrics are emotional, powerful, and presented very well. Aline’s vocals are clear, emotional, and blend well with Zig’s voice on the duets. In addition, it is clear that she has taken voice lessons. The instrumentalists aren’t overpowering, but they do show their skills throughout the album. More information concerning the band can be found at the following links: