Morgana Lefay Grand Materia

After two albums under the name Lefay, and a subsequent five-year break in recording, Morgana Lefay has returned with her full, original name in place and a brand new album. Grand Materia is solid power with a progressive edge, narrating a tale of immortality, philosophical wonders, and a threat to humankind. But for a few softer breaks and the slower-paced sorrow of songs like "Only Endless Time Remains” or the finale, Grand Materia speeds forward with a mixture of precision and force, hinting at the sounds of Savatage, Queensryche, and even Pantera, but still maintaining its own distinct voice. While the story is intriguing, the songs also function well on their own, classic-sounding but not outdated. This is no half-assed comeback, but a sincere and hard-driving return to the fray. (Black Mark)