Written by: Valkyrjia
Release Date: April 8th, 2022
Prog Metal/Prog Rock from St. Petersburg, Russia
FFO: Devin Townsend, BTBAM, Dream Theater, VOLA
Best described as Cosmic Progressive Rock/Metal with a dose of pop influence, Naturealism is a 10-track concept album that is unveiled through seamless composition from one track to another. Admired as singles as well, each track is driven by passionate riffs, catchy hooks, and brilliant songwriting that ensures surprise and intrigue at every turn.
Naturealism is the fourth album from multi-instrumentalist and producer Egor Lappo. Featuring themes of fear and phobias, this album is an emotional typhoon unleashed within a concept album. This album perfectly marks a pivotal moment in Lappo’s career as it displays the new heights, he has reached both vocally and lyrically. Regarding his own fears, Lappo has created Naturealism that is provocative and alluring from end to end.
Our introduction to this album comes through “Unreal,” that gives us a tease of what’s behind the curtains of Naturealism. There’s banging drums, heavy riffs, ethereal highs, and vocal brilliance bordering Power Metal in genre. Dropping into a thrash of wild instrumentals, this short but, sweet track provides the meal we’re dying to sink our teeth into.
“Invisible Walls” boasts a talented mix of instrumental skill with wild strings, enigmatic synth, and beautiful vocal displays. There is Devin Townsend in tone and vocal performance within this track, alluring to both inspiration and listeners. The strange exploration of the cosmos is evident in the melody, exploding in the heart of a dying star through visually imaginative lyrics, “there’s no way to revive a shattered soul, that never was fragile but heeded to the storm”.
“Forgone Future” riles us up with magical riffs that shoot for the stars. It starts out slow, almost anti-climactic before building into a gorgeous display of vocal radiance. “Time goes on, we’ll never be the same,” has a Power Metal hook that absolutely blew me away both in a lyrical and musical presentation. There’s also a jaw-dropping guitar solo near the tail of this track that truly sends us soaring, with lyrics to match that moved this track from a lack-luster beginning to one of my favourites in mere moments.
Flowing into the album is “Lack of Gravity” that features vocal additions by Alex Parkinson and absolutely takes your breath away. Rapid-paced drums are unrivaled as they’re balanced by treacherous riffs and commanding vocal skill. The eerie drop in of an ethereal melody, amplified by a star-striking solo; with the quietness of harsh growls and screams at its shadow bring this song to new heights, once more proving that this album is truly full of surprises.
“Dawn Tracer” features the talented guitar work of Francisco Meza that comes through on a breathtaking solo. Once more, Lappo takes a melody that is steady and fluid and amplifies it with his own vocal strength. It’s lower and slower than some of the other tracks but, keeps the starlight in the atmosphere to illuminate the darkest spaces of the mind. “Running from the passion. Running from your heart. And not looking back into the shadow of self. It will take all your troubles away,” is a remarkable verse that tackles both acknowledging your fear and facing it. The uplifting melody that accompanies such a verse is truly amazing in its ability to not only raise spirits but, raise a fist in the fight to face our fears and conquer them.
“Crepuscular” – which literally means resembling or relating to twilight, this song takes us into atmospheric highs. Drums take the speed of this track to another level, energizing the passionate vocals and accompanying some dragging riffs as we ascend to the stars. It’s got progressive groove in its influence, alongside some synthesizer performance that really allows the imagery of twilight to sparkle in the mind and almost touches on a Coldplay sort of vibe.
The finale to this album comes with the title track, “Naturealism” that’s introduced through vivid strings that escort vocal prominence into our ears. It’s a deeply passionate track about heartache, and fear taking hold. The personal touches of spoken sections add tension and anxiety to the truth of this track and placing emotional lines like, “wish that you could see right through my eyes, the heartache that’s so hard to be described,” on your very own sleeve. We’re met with a cascade of intense solos and heavy drumming that ruptures any light-heartedness we once felt, cranking the melody up to ten and leaving the pain to linger on our hearts.
The Bottom Line:
This album takes every expectation you could conjure and throws them to the wind. From vocal growth to astonishing instrumentals, Lappo truly hits us with surprise after surprise from one track to the next and utilizes his skill and experience to give us a truly unique concept album. There is truly no song on this album to dislike, for each is an entirely unique experience that still flows through the album alongside the others as whole. Fueled by fear and phobia but, dancing on the brilliance of a star-filled sky, this album is worthy of listening again and again to not only admire the beauty each track has to offer but, to feel the emotions that shake your very soul from one end to the next.
Favourite Tracks: Forgone Future, Dawn Tracer
Bandcamp: Egor Lappo