Lalu, the band headed up by keyboardist and composer Vivien Lalu, is now streaming its progressive metal masterpiece Paint The Sky. The album features vocalist Damian Wilson (Arena, Headspace, Threshold) alongside guest appearances from Jens Johansson (Stratovarius), Joop Wolters (Shadrane), and Jordan Rudess (Dream Theater, Liquid Tension Experiment).
Really, "progressive metal masterpiece" is exactly what this is. Paint The Sky is front to back a phenomenal effort and one that should strongly encourage any listener to look further into the past works of Lalu. It's the perfect blend of classic progressive rock, touching base with Lalu's parents Noelle and Michel Lalu of the '70s French progressive act Polène, and modern progressive metal that isn't afraid to get heavy.
"I've surrounded myself with English singer Damian Wilson, whose flawless English in both singing and writing was a crucial component in achieving this vision. Joop Wolters, on both guitars and bass, added another layer of depth to this 'YES texture' thanks to his ability to channel musicians such as Trevor Rabin, Steve Howe, and Chris Squire," said Vivien. "To round all up, I decided to work with one of the best up-and-coming drummers around, Jelly Cardarelli of Adagio & Disconnected. In addition to being a gifted musician (and French like me), he is also an exceptional producer. As a result, I've asked him to collaborate with me on the sound of album–we produced everything together. The extra special guests returning from my previous record (Jordan Rudess, Jens Johansson etc.) were joined by new ones (Steve Walsh, Simon Phillips etc.).
"The overall concept is that one day, humanity will go to space in order to discover a new planet Earth. We always have the idea of going to, or creating ourselves, what we believe will be a better world. But, as before, we will continue to encounter the same issues we left behind. We must begin by leading our own introspection as a species first. We need to get honest with ourselves in the mirror. The problems we are responsible for won't be fixed by changing the backdrop – whether it's an exoplanet, a metaverse, or anything else with the promise of a better, alternate/virtual life. But, with the song 'We Are Strong' (a very optimistic perspective on it all), there is a good ending. We will succeed in solving our species' issues as a whole. We will paint a better future that will stay in time. It's an upbeat album overall ;)"
Pre-orders for Paint The Sky are available here. The album is out on January 21.