Lesoir – Mosaic – Album Review

Lesoir - Mosaic - Album Cover

Artist: Lesoir

Album Title: Mosaic

Label: GlassVille Records

Date of Release: 1 May 2020

Another new name to cross my desk at manofmuchmetal.com is Lesoir, a Dutch five-piece that came to my attention because of my ongoing professional relationship with the good people at Incendia Music. That and the reference to Anathema in the ‘FFO’ section of the press release, of course. After all, any mention of one of my favourite bands will be certain to pique my interest. It has to be said that the cover artwork also drew me in, being rather beautiful and intriguing in equal measure.

Having successfully grabbed my attention then, it was with a certain amount of embarrassment when I realised that ‘Mosaic’ is not Lesoir’s debut or even sophomore release. The quintet have been around for a decade or so and this is their fifth full-length studio album. Ouch. But better late than never I say and with that in mind, let’s waste no more time and delve into the music on ‘Mosaic’, crafted by Maartje Meessen, Eleen Batholomeus, Ingo Dassen, Ingo Jetten and Bob Van Heumen.

It’s a little tricky to pin down the sound of Lesoir, as there are lots of influences clearly at play within their style of music. I hear elements of art rock, prog, pop, ambient, even occasional dalliances towards the realm of metal thanks principally to the guitar and bass tones as well as the energy of the music. Yes, there are echoes of Anathema within, but equally, I hear the likes of Muse (who incidentally I never got on board with) and even Pink Floyd when things get a little more ‘dreamy’. But generally, ‘Mosaic’ could be better described simply as a colourful rock-based album that is richer and more intriguing for the numerous tones and textures that it deploys across the course of its nine interesting and engaging tracks.

LESOIR
Credit: Harry Heuts

‘Mosaic’ is definitely an album that benefits from time and attention because I have grown ever fonder of it over the course of several spins. I have noted new things with just about every listen, discovering subtle nuances here and there where none were heard previously. But for me, the most important discoveries involved the melodies that are integral to each individual piece of music. There are those tracks with immediacy such as ‘Somebody Like You’, where the central melody and chorus hits you right out of the gate, such is the strength of the elegant performance from vocalist Maartje Meessen, atop some gorgeous instrumentalism from the whole band, including a beautiful, soulful lead guitar solo at the heart of the song.

But take the bold ‘Is This It’ with the effect-laden and angst-ridden vocals that are more than a little confrontational and jarring to my ears initially. I wasn’t a fan and only refrained from skipping it in the name of professional reviewing. And yet, now, I can hear beyond the vocals which in any case, I can understand and appreciate a lot more. As the song develops, it morphs into something much more chilled and progressive, complete with some guitar work that recalls the aforementioned Pink Floyd. And the way it builds in intensity from the quieter mid-section is great, culminating in some metal-lite riffing to compliment those harsher vocals.

The subtlety and elegance of tracks like ‘The Geese’ only reveal themselves when they are good and ready. But when the melodies burrow deep and you appreciate the marked contrasts between delicacy and musical vibrancy, led by some commanding bass guitar rumblings, the lightbulb is illuminated and all you can do it lay back and let the music wash over you to wonderful effect.

One of the most intriguing tracks is ‘Dystopia’, an instrumental composition that reminds me in a way of the instrumental post-metal band Long Distance Calling; the musical textures, the spoken-word sections that relay the prophetic words of George Orwell from his seminal work, ‘1984’, the way that the song ebbs and flows of it’s own accord, building images in the mind’s eye through the instrumentation without the need for lyrics. There’s also an initially strange country music twang to a couple of the melodies that shouldn’t work, but they do.

‘Two Faces’ closes out the album, and it does so in fittingly powerful and arresting fashion. At nearly eight minutes in length, it is easily the lengthiest song on ‘Mosaic’ but it never feels like it is unnecessarily elongated. Bursts of glorious sound punctuate the quieter, more introspective passages to the point where they ultimately release to deliver a pulsating, high energy crescendo of sorts, where the wailing of guitars can be heard soaring over the bold soundscape below.

In short, ‘Mosaic’ is a lovely album, full of great songwriting, delivered with professionalism and sophistication. It should definitely appeal to a large audience across the musical spectrum and take the band to a whole new level.

The Score of Much Metal: 85%

Check out my reviews from 2020 right here:

Temnein – Tales: Of Humanity And Greed
Caligula’s Horse – Rise Radiant
…And Oceans – Cosmic World Mother
Vader – Solitude In Madness
Shrapnel – Palace For The Insane
Sinisthra – The Broad And Beaten Way
Paradise Lost – Obsidian
Naglfar – Cerecloth
Forgotten Tomb – Nihilistic Estrangement
Winterfylleth – The Reckoning Dawn
Firewind – Firewind
An Autumn For Crippled Children – All Fell Silent, Everything Went Quiet
Havok – V
Helfró – Helfró
Victoria K – Essentia
Cryptex – Once Upon A Time
Thy Despair – The Song Of Desolation
Cirith Ungol – Forever Black
Igorrr – Spirituality and Distortion
Nightwish – Human. II: Nature.
Katatonia – City Burials
Wolfheart – Wolves Of Karelia
Asenblut – Die Wilde Jagd
Nicumo – Inertia
The Black Dahlia Murder – Verminous
Omega Infinity – Solar Spectre
Symbolik – Emergence
Pure Reason Revolution – Eupnea
Irist – Order Of The Mind
Testament – Titans Of Creation
Ilium – Carcinogeist
Dawn Of Ouroboros – The Art Of Morphology
Torchia – The Coven
Novena – Eleventh Hour
Ashes Of Life – Seasons Within
Dynazty – The Dark Delight
Sutrah – Aletheia EP
Welicoruss – Siberian Heathen Horde
Myth Of I – Myth Of I
My Dying Bride – The Ghost Of Orion
Infirmum – Walls Of Sorrow
Inno – The Rain Under
Kvaen – The Funeral Pyre
Mindtech – Omnipresence
Dark Fortress – Spectres From The Old World
The Oneira – Injection
Night Crowned – Impius Viam
Dead Serenity – Beginnings EP
The Night Flight Orchestra – Aeromantic
Deadrisen – Deadrisen
Blaze Of Perdition – The Harrowing Of Hearts
Godsticks – Inescapable
Isle Of The Cross – Excelsis
Demons & Wizards – III
Vredehammer – Viperous
H.E.A.T – H.E.A.T II
Psychotic Waltz – The God-Shaped Void
Into The Open – Destination Eternity
Lunarsea – Earthling/Terrestre
Pure Wrath – The Forlorn Soldier EP
Sylosis – Cycle of Suffering
Sepultura – Quadra
Dyscordia – Delete / Rewrite
Godthrymm – Reflections
On Thorns I Lay – Threnos
God Dethroned – Illuminati
Fragment Soul – A Soul Inhabiting Two Bodies
Mariana Semkina – Sleepwalking
Mini Album Reviews: Moloken, The Driftwood Sign & Midnight
Serenity – The Last Knight
Ihsahn – Telemark EP
Temperance – Viridian
Blasphemer – The Sixth Hour
Deathwhite – Grave Image
Marko Hietala – Pyre Of The Black Heart
SWMM – Trail Of The Fallen
Into Pandemonium – Darkest Rise EP
Bonded – Rest In Violence
Serious Black – Suite 226
Darktribe – Voici L’Homme
Brothers Of Metal – Emblas Saga
A Life Divided – Echoes
Thoughts Factory – Elements

You can also check out my other reviews from previous years right here:

2019 reviews
2018 reviews
2017 reviews
2016 reviews
2015 reviews

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