2012's This Harmonic Consonance is the sixth studio album from German progressive metal band Lanfear. It's also the first album I've heard from the band. I remember hearing the name maybe ten years ago and figuring that since they're named after a villain in a fantasy novel they were probably some third rate power metal band. Well, seeing them live at the ProgPower USA festival last year proved me wrong, so I decided to give them a fair shot.
There is something of a power metal aspect to some of these songs, but by and large This Harmonic Consonance is a traditional, Dream Theater-inspired progressive metal album. Actually, Lanfear has a sound that's more in line with the Italian prog metal style than anything else - think Labyrinth and Pathosray. There's a decent heaviness and some real crunch in the rhythms that is balanced by some subtle melodies, and the technicality of the music never really seems overblown or self-indulgent. The vocals stand out in particular. Nuno Miguel de Barros Fernandes (now that is an unusual name for a German metal singer) sounds a lot like Pain of Salvation frontman Daniel Gildenlow at times, bringing a great range and real power to these already well executed songs.
This Harmonic Consonance is a very strong album overall, and one that should appeal to most fans of the progressive/power metal genre. They may not be blazing any new trails the way bands like Leprous and Pain of Salvation do, but they do play this kind of music very well. If you're a fan of bands like Redemption, Zero Hour, Pathosray and Labyrinth, Lanfear is a band that's well worth checking out. I know I wish I hadn't waited quite so long to do so.