Taiwanese folk metal band Crescent Lament released their third studio album, Land of Lost Voices, an 11 track concept album that tells Taiwanese stories, history, and tragedy mixed with fantasy and romance. The moving content of the lyrics is enhanced by cinematic production and orchestration of synths and Asian flutes and stringed instruments. All built upon a sturdy foundation of metal driving drum, bass, and guitar grooves. The six-member lineup has a defined sound, and they use it well.
This concept album is a sequel to their second album ‘Elegy for the Blossoms’. A continuation of a tragic love story narrative. For the artwork, Crescent Lament has partnered with Illustrator KCN, who has created a booklet that on its own is a work of art and is reminiscent of a graphic novel. Inside The booklet is the narrative for the concept album. It tells the story of a woman, A-Hiong, and her personal tale of tragic love, which happens along with real historical events, massacres, and tragedy. The album takes on personal perspectives of these events, which are genuinely unsettling and horrific.
The music is ethereal at times with vocalist Muer singing melodic lines above the band delivering a siren’s calling of soprano vocals. But lain in the foundation of the sound is overall driving and punchy metal riffage. It is complemented with Asian instruments giving it a unique timbre that, along with the melodies and stories, gives it a certain Taiwan quality to its driving drums, guitars, and bass metal forcefulness.
Another night of sollitude has sorrowful lyrics and music that maintains an upbeat, driving force with singable melodies harmonies overtop of guitar and synth grooves. The songs are interwoven with instrumental breaks and guitar leads that provide variety to the lyrically driven songs. Gritty metal vocals and shouting choruses contrast the clean vocals of soprano Muer, which is balanced very well. Each composition is well crafted and flows well into the next providing a music storytelling experience.
The album is inspired by Taiwanese history seeking sovereignty and receiving much hardship, instability, and violent massacres of the most bloody and gruesome. They weave a personal story into the violent historical events telling the deeply troubling and tragic events of Taiwan and the 228 incident.
The music is emotional and powerful, rich with many harmonies and melodic moving lines that make the album enjoyable to listen to on repeat listens.
The music, lyric storytelling, and visual artwork make this concept album a complete audio and visual experience. The music stands on its own merits but, taken with the written backstory and artwork, paints a more complete picture of the inspiration and message of the music which is truly hard-hitting.
Everything is very well executed. From the music performances, lyrics, production, and presentation, this album is a true work of art. I would recommend this album to any fan of folk metal. For a full experience, you should buy the physical album and read the lyrics and narrative of the concept album.