Hoping their renaissance will bring a new life the so long dormant Lost In Thought, the British prog outfit return with their second full length, Renascence. The first album, titled Opus Arise, was released in 2011 and since then it’s been utterly silent around the band. What strikes immediately upon the first listen of Renascence is that there’s an initial intensity that sticks from the first moment and to the last. Very atmospheric and driven by strikingly emotive vocals by Deane Lazenby, the album manages to pull at the heart strings in a very effective way. In this it might be likened a bit to the latest Kingcrow album, but with a bigger, more epic sound lending melodics from the likes of Poem. Renascence doesn’t have a commercial flair, it’s not going to ask you to like it, not going to beg for attention. But holy shit, if you sit your ass down and give it the time, the attention, the peace of mind, that it deserves, it will return all you give.
Easily one of the best albums of the year so far (and there’s not much left) and a reason why November 2018 rocks, it’s a work of honesty. It’s done exactly as Lost In Thought wants it, and it delivers loads of passion. More so than the predecessor, Lost In Thought deliver melodic pieces unheard, the buildup magnificent in every song (though perhaps mostly on the three that go above seven minutes in length), starting humbly only to come into a burst of energy and going through a softer, melancholy part that yet grows into the feels trip the song comprises. The musicianship is flawless; no point herein warrants a word of complaint. From the heart wrenching vocals of Lazenby to Chris Billingham’s tight drum works (the drum lines in Absolution is particularly sweet, in my humble opinion). There’s a poppy approachability sometimes to Diego Zapatero’s (Mercury Rex) keyboards, but it’s done consciously and with plenty of underlying pressure in thrifty riffing from David Grey, so much so that said approachability won’t make a single moment feel unwarranted or unsubstantiated.
Oddly enough, the album doesn’t end on Legacy, which would feel like the natural conclusion. Instead it ends on Absolution. Don’t get me wrong, but the ending of Legacy would have felt the natural closer - and it should say a lot that my complaints about this album are about which song to end it on. Renascence is a very even listen, perhaps too even in a way. Not that what it presents is ever bad or even below really good, but that some larger degrees of variations to heighten contrast and make the emotional highs strike that much harder, would have been beneficial. To return a bit to the aforementioned approachability, Renascence sounds flashy, but even when you go beyond that, there’s still a lot to gain from each listen, each time you feel the songs again, how Grey’s guitars work alongside Zapatero’s highly prevalent keys make it sound so much more than it might have; how the guitar solos are worked to perfection and made as complete parts of the whole, and… so much more. A work of art, but one you have to feel to understand, and to think I nearly missed it.
Standout tracks: A New Life, Save Me, Absolution