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What Tomorrow Brings

25th June 2015 – Dominus Records

01. What Tomorrow Brings
02. Haunted
03. Message in a Bottle (The Police cover)
04. The Sun Always Shines on TV (A-Ha cover)
05. Playing to Win (Litle River Band cover)
06. Someone’s Crying (Helloween cover)

We’ve made it pretty clear that we are fans of the work of Australian multi-instrumentalist Tim Yatras in various articles over the years -so when he got behind the kit to record a new EP with his old progressive power metal band Lord, all attention went its way. The fruits – a new EP called What Tomorrow Brings – follows up their 2013 album Digital Lies with a collection of original songs, plus a few fun covers. And lest ye think this qualifies as a covers album, there are thirty minutes of original music, with the covers merely thrown in as a treat.

Centrepiece “What Tomorrow Brings” – a twenty-five minute monster – is chock full of great riffs, vocal melodies, and a full blown epic lyrical theme to go along with it all. The myriad of musical styles that the band displays on this track alone are enough to keep the song going strong for most of the near half-hour ride. One or two moments are a bit slower than others, but it keeps up the energy remarkably well, and the finale delivers on the long promise with some real fist-pumping, hair-raising, Queensryche-esque power metal, revisiting themes from earlier in the song.

The other original, “Haunted”, has a strong melodic chorus and solid crunchy guitar riffs, but it’s dwarfed a bit when listened to right after “What Tomorrow Brings”. What’s more, the verses don’t really stick out, but ultimately it holds up as a more standard song in their discography.

Fans of the band had been asking for proper recordings of covers for a while, and finally they have acquiesced. All four – “Message in A Bottle” (The Police), “The Sun Always Shines On TV” (A-ha), “Playing To Win” (Little River Band), and “Someone’s Crying” (Helloween) – are excellent, with “Playing To Win” perhaps being the one that makes the most improvement on the original. The Helloween cover is one of the more unexpected – hailing from one of their more derided albums, Pink Bubbles Go Ape - but Lord cover it well and remind people that maybe that era of Helloween wasn’t all bad.

Through and through, the musicianship is top notch. Tim Yatras’ drumming is excellent as ever, and the rest of the band are no slouches either: vocalist/guitarist/band leader Lord Tim has some particularly fine moments, bringing to mind ex-Helloween vocalist Michael Kiske, and his duelling guitar work with Mark Furtner is truly wonderful – especially on the title track. Bassist Andy Dowling tends to follow along with the guitar more often than not, but keeps the bottom end together very well.

Sonically, the guitar tones are pure, thick, and very clean, and the drums stand out as some of the better sounds within the genre. The keyboards are mixed in well to add a sense of depth and scope not always found in this kind of music, and the piano – when it shows up – sounds truly beautiful and genuine.

What Tomorrow Brings is a fun little EP. The cover songs are a great bonus to the originals on here – real fantastic pieces of proggy power metal songwriting, even if the title track makes “Haunted” seem a bit underwritten by comparison – but the cover songs escape that fate nicely, elevated by top-notch musicianship and a mix that is pretty much perfect. A very satisfactory listen for any fan of power metal.

Kevin writer banner Jan 2014