Lion Splicer are a metal\punk rock NY group comprised of the “Splicer” brothers, Danny(drums) and Max(vocals\guitar). I remember getting an email from them earlier this year about the release of an EP, but must admit the musicianship on it felt too unpolished back then. However, Listening to “Holiday In Dystopia” it sounds like these two fellas have seriously upped their game!
The album starts with “Jezebel” and you can right away tell Lion Splicer’s metal isn’t so modern in style, leaning more towards the retro oldschool/punk side of the genre. This doesn’t mean the record isn’t heavy, but it often does concentrate more on being a fun, sing-along kind of listen. Audible bass? check! good vocals and the gang shouts add a lot – a cool track overall.
“Whip” is the second song on here and while its lyrics’ meaning evades me entirely, it’s still pretty awesome and right to the point clocking at no more than 3 minutes. There’s a solo section to this track with wah-wah flavored leads, giving it a lot of positive “retro” points.
The title track is pretty solid but I can’t say a lot more for its sake. The guitars aren’t doing a lot it here, which left me to concentrate on listening to Danny’s drumming and the guy does a good job. “Little Conquerers” & “Forgotten Cities” are two instrumentals, with the second being longer, actually showing significant progression in the riffs! interesting piece.
Among the different tracks, “Watchtower” is definitely my favorite. Following a King Diamond-esque frantic intro it hits you with a menacing black metal(!) riff, then slows down for a low-key chorus that’s totally horror punk in the vein of Samhain. Not a formula you commonly hear these days!
Near the end of the album we meet the third and probably the best instrumental here – “Utopia in Regalia“; a very easy-going & bluesy piece, with more wah-wah leads & good bass playin’ that periodically conjure a RHCP-meets-Hendrix vibe. A surprisingly serene piano part arrives just before the track ends in quite a progressive fashion. So glad to hear the guys experimenting a bit with the instrumentation – it works great each time they go for it.
Lion Splicer clearly wanted to make a kick-ass metal album here, and could have just come up with some cool riffs, but they did something a bit different by adding a good amount variation and creative freedom to “Holiday In Dystopia“. This easily saves the album from being mediocre, and lifts it up, making it a refreshing and enjoyable listen! To check out this release yourself simply head to the band’s Bandcamp page.