02. The Orbiter
03. Out Of Reach
05. Loose Ends
07. Fake World
08. Twisted Machine
09.Across The Line
10. Tear Down The Sky
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Creating a hard rock or alternative rock or alternative metal or whatever you want to call it album is usually an exercise in proceeding in one of two directions--going progressive, which will usually bring critical praise, or going mainstream, which will usually guarantee derision from critics but gain you mass appeal. You either get regurgitated & repugnant frat-rock like what you hear from Nickelback and Shinedown or you end up with something that has teeth, but won't garner as many fans (a la Dead Letter Circus or 10 Years). Fortunately for us, but potentially unfortunately for them, Lizzard's latest falls into the latter category.
Lizzard have been in existence since 2006, but Out of Reach will most likely be everyone's first experience with the band. Having been around for 6 years, it's not really a surprise that this album feels extremely mature and very well polished. There is hardly a moment that feels haphazardly slapped together or not serving a particular purpose. With this maturity comes a sense of purpose and comfort within each of the songs. However, the drawback here is that even with the amount of time Lizzard have had to synthesize their influences into their sound, you can still pick out who those influences are over the course of the album.
There's a lot to like here for progressive alternative metal fans. Songs are allowed to build, move, and take their time to develop with the only exceptions being 2 tracks in the middle of the album that serve as brief outlets to let the band work out some nice ideas that couldn't quite be fleshed out into full songs. This could be a sign that they were running out of ideas during the writing process (I doubt this), but it may also show a bit of restraint on their part, realizing pushing these ideas might simply not work.
As you listen to the album, you'll get a waft of influences ranging from Tool to Chevelle to Foo Fighters to Helmet to many others. There's a bit of Tool in the guitar tones and playing style heard throughout the album. Chevelle's influence shows up in their keeping the songs progressive, yet enough to the point to not wander about aimlessly. You'll hear Foo Fighters mostly in the vocal style of Mathieu Ricou as he croons. He does have enough of his own voice, though, so don't feel like he's simply copycatting. And lastly, the Helmet vibe comes across during many of the instrumental sections. Lizzard are not afraid to throw in some riff-heavy sections along with their copious amount of solos.
It'd be wrong to think of Lizzard as nothing more than a compilation of influences, however. They are very much their own entity, but they utilize the best traits of bands that have come before them which, really, is what every band should set out to do. It's rare to be 100% new and groundbreaking. Everything has been done before, and in realizing that, Lizzard take the best of the best of their peers and mix those parts together. In doing so, they have created a very successful album.