Daniel Lioneye is the solo project from Linde Lindström, the guitarist of the wellknown Finnish “love metal” band HIM. It seems though that with Daniel Lioneye you never really know what you can expect. Their very first release was a heavy metal/hard rock version of rock ‘n’ roll. Of which probably everyone knows the song King of Rock ‘n’ Roll, used as the theme song for Viva La Bam. If you expected more of the swinging heavy music on their second release, you were in for a surprise. On Vol. II, they went to a complete other scale of the music scene with black metal. So my curiosity was big if I’d get to hear rock ‘n’ roll or black metal or something completely different on their latest release Vol. III.
Opening song Messier O has a very atmospheric sound and ritualistic, almost trance-inducing drums that gradually build up with the addition of some Native American sounding chanting. It makes me expect something more in the lines of the second album: black metal. When Blood on the Floor starts, it still seems like it could go that way. The vocals make any thoughts of black metal evaporate quickly. Music and vocals remind me of work by bands like Godsmack, Taproot, Adema and Cold. Which comes down to a form of alternative metal with a lot of feel for melody.
Luckily the songs don’t all sound the same, but there are regularly some small surprises and differences that keep the record interesting. Like License to Defile starts with an almost stoner feeling riff with on top of that a very Eastern sounding guitar line. In this song they seem to pick up pace a bit as well, with after about 2 minutes a nice electronically distorted guitar solo. The end of this song flows over into the start of the next one, called Ravensong. This songs brings a more emotional and softer song that works wonderfully well.
Just when you’re about to think that Daniel Lioneye lost its heaviness, Alright kicks off. Here they seem to crank up the black metal influences they showed in the former album a bit again. Fast, strong riffs and drums with the harsh vocals they used before. It’s not like this throughout the whole song, the clean vocals they’ve been using on this album play a big part in it too. But the combination of using both makes this for me personally a favorite on the album. After all their craziness in the track it seems they want to give you some time to catch your breath with Baba Satanas, which is a weird little track. There’s almost no music, mostly some creepy background sounds with someone constantly saying “Baba Satanas” in a deep possessed voice.
With Aetherside they bring the music back and this time in yet another spectrum of the metal scene. The opening riffs of the track immediately make me think of doom/stoner metal and you can find this back throughout most of the song. It’s maybe a bit on the fast side for a real doom song, but it still gives such a vibe and has a great guitar solo for you to enjoy. In this song Linde‘s vocals remind me even more of Godsmack. A great track to pick the second half of the album back up!
The very last song Neolithic Way seems to use the combination of clean vocals and more harsh vocals again. This time it’s not really a black metal grunt/scream, but rather a really harsh whispering kind of shouting. It definitely brings a nice dimension to the whole song and feels to me as the perfect way to close this unexpected gem.
On III Daniel Lioneye shows even more sides of their talent and abilities. While on the former two releases they seemed to stick to one certain style of music, this time they’ve made music that touches home base at several styles. This is definitely the most diverse and interesting record by them to date. I’m looking forward to what they can come up with next time… will they stick to this or change everything up again! For now the only thing I can say to these Finnish weirdos is “keep up the good work!” and 8,5/10 for you!
Release Date: August 19th, 2016
Label: The End Records
1. Messier O
2. Blood On The Floor
3. Break It or Heal It
4. Licence to Defile
7. Baba Satanas
9. Dancing With The Dead
10. Oh God in Your Great Mercy
11. Mathematics of the Storm
12. Neolithic Way