Lizzard – Out Of Reach

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Review by Jason Guest

Klonosphere

Like Soen, France’s Lizzard appear to have a penchant for Tool and A Perfect Circle. And as with Soen, it’s down to their vocalist and their use of repetitive and hypnotic riffs and rhythms. But that’s no bad thing as Out Of Reach is an excellent début comprised of a bunch of well-written songs enveloped in some pretty fine musicianship. Produced by Rhys Fulber (noted for his work with Paradise Lost, Fear Factory, Front Line Assembly, etc), the album’s sound is clear and commanding. Katy Elwell’s solid, precise and subtly coloured drumming is given the space it needs to drive the tracks while William Knox’s cadenced bass provides both mesmerising and melodic patterns that weave themselves through her designs. Matthew Ricou’s riffs shifts between the twisting and the subtle to the measured, precise and powerful. His vocals, though similar in many respects to Maynard James Keenan, are varied enough to distinguish the band as more than simply another Tool clone.

There’s enough groove across the album to keep heads bobbing and Lizzard manage to avoid slipping into the clichés of that awful genre, nu-metal, as well as those of straight-ahead rock. What’s interesting about this album is that there’s not one track that stands out. That’s not because the tracks are too similar or are weak; the quality of each track is very high. What does stand out are moments or passages, such as or the urgent groove of ‘The Orbiter’, the atmospheric passage of ‘Loose Ends’, and the bass melody in the intro to ‘Across The Line’. Out Of Reach has an intelligent 90s sound to it but Lizzard are yet to distinguish themselves enough to be counted as unique or innovative. Like the aforementioned Soen, Lizzard need to step out of the shadows of their influences and produce an album that lets their strengths – of which there are many – truly shine. While not a frail or even a sophisticated imitation, Out Of Reach is an ambitious work that suggests there is better to come from this band.

7 out of 10

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Track listing:

  1. Disintegrity
  2. The Orbiter
  3. Out Of Reach
  4. Skyline
  5. Loose Ends
  6. Backslide
  7. Fakeworld
  8. Twisted Machine
  9. Across The Line
  10. Tear Down The Sky