Lead and Thoughts and Spears
Lead and Thoughts and Spears took their name from a line in "Cornwall Stone" by ex-Bauhaus member Peter Murphy, so it's no surprise that their music shows a definite goth influence, especially in their haunting, dreamlike, and often moody lyrics. But the heavy emphasis on guitars, bass, and live drums gives their music much more of a prog-rock feel, which should appeal to fans of Dream Theater or Fates Warning.
Because the male vocalist's singing wasn't particularly varied or expressive, it got monotonous pretty quickly, and I found myself gravitating more toward the instrumental tracks. "Evermore" has a gorgeous liquid-lilting guitar solo that reminded me of German prog legends Eloy. Listening to this track feels like a trip to the sky, dipping and diving among the shimmering cloud-castles. Epic-length album closer "The Long Sorrow" blew me away with its crystalline chiming guitar, pulse-pounding hand drums, and wicked funky bass lines. This track is perfect music for drifting, dreaming, and exploring inner visions; it showed me a single tear forming, falling, and shattering into a thousand rainbows that whirled into a shining vortex drawn upward toward the sun.
Of the vocal tracks, my favorite was "Far from the Madding Crowd," which begins with a screaming electric guitar solo, then really kicks into gear with driving bass and rhythmic tambourine. The ringing guitars later in the track felt like colors echoing in the air, while the quick-spoken lyrics gave the dreamy words about being lost in your own mind a dangerous feel of floating away on sunless seas on a journey into darkness and beyond....