Founded in 2013 by keyboardist Harri Koskela, theatrical metal act LOST IN GREY was supposed to be a short-term project, but grew out to be so much more. After the release of their debut effort, “The Grey Realms“ and sophomore album, “The Waste Land,” the band was able to tour around Europe before the pandemic hit. Now, LOST IN GREY are ready to release their third studio record, “Under the Surface,” out on July 2nd, 2021, via Reaper Entertainment.
“Under the Surface” opens with the atmospheric opener “I,” where a soft tribal drum sound supports beautiful orchestrated melodies sharing some of the opening track’s leads, calmly progressing into a pleasing piano part, which ultimately leads to the next track, “Disobedience.” The energetic starter opens softly with simple pianos but then plummets into a symphonic metal offering with neat orchestrations, epic choirs, and an engaging guitar melody. Even though the track is very dynamic, it mostly focuses on an immersive atmosphere through different soundscapes.
The explorative journey continues with “Waves,” starting off with an interesting guitar lead, but the melodies progress with more folk motives. “Waves” features the three vocalists and the interplay between them creates a somewhat dramatic arch within the music. In comparison to the rest of the song, the chorus could have been a little stronger, but nevertheless, it’s still catchy enough to linger on after having listened to the song. The same pattern continues in “Shine,” again mostly focusing on creating a certain atmosphere. Towards the end, a glockenspiel starts playing the next lead motif softly. Then, the song progresses into the only Finnish track on this record, “Varjo” – a beautiful, slow track with a lot of soul. The strong gains in strength in instrumentation seeped in a folky universe, which is slightly reminiscent of NIGHTWISH, but then during the verses, it strips down to the bare minimum again: just Emily Leone‘s beautiful soprano vocals and a magical piano melody. The track builds up beautifully towards its chorus, expanding the sound with choirs supporting Leone.
“Souffrir” borrows its influences from dark circus music (think “Corteo” by CIRQUE DU SOLEIL.) This track is perhaps the most creative one on the entire record, where all the elements of LOST IN GREY‘s music come together beautifully: from beautifully orchestrated symphonic soundscapes and atmospheric vocals to folk influences. The album ends with the closing trio of “Stardust.” This chapter is divided into three different songs. Starting with “The Race,” the circus vibes continue a little bit with a voiceover that almost sounds like Marko Hietala. Towards the ending of the track, the song unwinds and changes in style and tempo, transitioning nicely into the next part, “Sand Castles.” While the beginning is more dreamy, possibly due to the voiceover, the song continues to be an energetic song. The last and ultimate part, “Abyss,” plays around with different themes from earlier in the album, providing an intriguing intro with beautiful choirs laced on top. Clocking in over 7 minutes, this track is the final push towards the ending of the record.
While “The Waste Land” offered more straightforward and direct songs, “Under the Surface” focuses more and more on atmosphere. Each of these songs are a lot more layered with details and are adventurous, immersive soundtracks for the listener to get lost in. In their third studio effort of combining elements from symphonic and folk metal, the band has finetuned their sound, experimented, and found their true identity.
Written by Laureline Tilkin
7. Stardust – I. The Race
8. Stardust – II. Sand Castles
9. Stardust – III. The Abyss
Harri Koskela – Composer, vocals, and keyboards
Anne Lill Rajala – Lyricist, vocals
Emily Leone – Vocals, Violin
Aapo Lindberg – Bass
Miika Haavisto – Guitars
Jarno Suodenjoki – Guitars
Teppo Ristola – Drums