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"L.I.E. - "Ruins" (MidwestMetal)"

Band: L.I.E.
CD: Ruins
Date: 12.06.03
Reviewer: Tyrant

Definitely not my normal fare when it comes to the Metal I listen to. However, I have to say I have been hooked on this CD since I recieved it. There is really no way to place L.I.E. in a specific genre. I can hear influences from all over the vast Metal map.

The guitars are THICK. Thick, but not muddy in any way. I love the guitars on this. Being a guitarist, I can tell they use drop D tuning, but they are smart enough to utilize this tuning in a way that doesn't constitute "cheating" (Too many bands that use this tuning do so to make it so they can fret chords with one finger, making the playing style extremely simplistic and dumbed down. Just listen to most Nu-Metal bands for evidence of this.). Tim's (L.I.E.'s guitarist) finger's are definitely busy all the time. VERY intelligent. It's nice to hear a band using this tuning to actually make the guitars heavier. I also hear a massive Zakk Wylde influence here. Sounds like Zakk is playing on this, to be honest. The leads are tasty, and the rhythm riffs throughout the CD are peppered with Zakk's pinch harmonics.

Vocally this is one of the more unusual bands I have heard in a while. Not a scream to be heard. Not one harsh vocal anywhere, except on track 6 ("Absolution"). On that song, Tim uses a scream / growl more in line with Black Metal or Swedish Death Metal, than the music presented. However, that voice is only used for a short period, and for effect only. So in that respect, not only is it a nice surprise, but it works well. On the other 5 songs, Tim maintains an extremely clean singing style, with lots of clear and well done harmonies throughout. If you can imagine a cross between Maynard James Keenan (Tool), a mid-register Mike Patton (Faith No More) and Layne Staley's (Alice in Chains) clean style, you have Tim Lyons. Tim's is a voice that is very warm, and puts across the emotion the lyrics call for without resorting to screaming or off key bawling (i.e. Deftones and Nirvana). You can tell the man knows HOW to sing. And that is a refreshing change, to be sure.

The rhythm section of L.I.E. is one that knows how to BE a rhythm section, being the glue that holds it all together. Tim pulls triple duty on this CD as bassist, vocalist and guitarist, and as a bassist, he does a great job. Tim is an intensely talented guy, able to wear a multitude of hats. His bass lines lock in with Adam Crain's drums, making it that much thicker, and a joy to listen to. They keep the tempo at a slow to mid pace, leading me to believe there are more than a few Hardcore bands that these guys listen to.

As a whole, this CD is indicative of a band that covers a wide range of styles seamlessly. Heavy, melodic, lyrically thought provoking, but most of all unashamedly Metal in their delivery. The production on "Ruins" is gorgeous, making it easy to crank up and get lost in. My only complaint is that at 6 songs, most in the three and a half to four minute range, it is way too short. Which in a way makes this the perfect CD. It leaves me wanting more.

Overall, L.I.E. is a band to keep an eye out for. While they aren't of the same genetic makeup as bands in the Nu-Metal realm or whatever genre happens to be this month's flavor, they are quite capable of standing alongside of those bands, and they could be very, very big. L.I.E. is highly deserving of a multi album contract on a major label. I believe in them fully, as being a band that could surpass any band on current "Modern Rock" radio. They stand apart from the bands that are trying to be the next Pantera, Korn, Slipknot, etc with a sound that is all their own, and fresh. Very impressive. Very.

Tyrant - MidwestMetal.info

"L.I.E. - "Ruins" (MidwestBands)"

How is it that there are so many really talented musicians in the world today? Has it always been this way, or am I just noticing it more today, because I stop and take the time to listen?

Those are the kinds of thoughts that enter my head when I hear music from groups like L.I.E. It is amazing to me that there are so many phenomenal musicians making original music today. Ruins is a very good example of the caliber of Independent music that is circulating the globe right now! Their style may not be totally original, but the quality of their songs, and the musical ability, lyrically and instrumentally, is far above average!

It sounds a little harsh when I mention that their style isn’t totally original; to me, that doesn’t present a problem! L.I.E. plays a hybrid style of Metal that I really like. The vocals are very melodic, and the guitar and bass parts double up a lot on the rhythms to create a very fat, crushing sound! Several bands have adopted this style, and I for one really like the trend toward fatter-sounding rhythms with very edgy, gritty vocals.

For a bassist and guitarist to really double up on rhythms, they have to be really tight. I don’t think you could get much tighter than the band has on this record! In fact, the guitarist can probably read the bassist’s mind, especially since they are one in the same! Tim Lyons is credited with both parts on Ruins; he also provides great vocal melodies and harmonies, and wrote or co-wrote all of the songs. He even co-produced the CD! It is very safe to say that this project is and always will be Tim’s baby!

Assistance on drums and keyboards, respectively, come from Adam Crain and Dustin Banbury. Adam also co-wrote the first track (“Sick of it All”) and assisted in the production of Ruins. Both provide solid instrumental lines; because of the fact that this is primarily a guitar album, though, the drum work is most apparent. All in all, the entire CD sounds really good! Each player seems to have done his part to make this a really good recording.

I like all of the tracks on Ruins, but a couple of them do stand out to me. “The Devil Within” is my favorite track, by far. It is my style of Metal; slow, melodic, and soulful! The vocal harmonies on the chorus are really powerful, too. It is the type of song that moved me as a listener!

My next favorite is probably “Absolution”; this one has a very wild rhythm guitar part on the verses that I really like! Then, for the chorus, the rhythm part settles into a more standard romp with a lot of crunch and power. Of course, “Sick of it All”, which I would consider to be L.I.E.’s signature track, is also one of my favorites! This CD wouldn’t be what it is without any of the songs I mentioned above! All of them are good, but these songs help to make it great!

As a whole, L.I.E. did a good job of writing songs that captured my interest, held it for the length of the song, and then let me move on to the next one! All of the songs clock in at less than 5 minutes, and at least three of them are not even 3 minutes long! To me, that is important. I love good guitar playing, and God knows I love to hear a really powerful riff! But, when a band is two minutes into the song, and you still haven’t heard the vocalist even cough, sniff or yell “Come On!”, it gets monotonous! With L.I.E.’s music, they seem to have known from the beginning when a riff was getting a bit repetitive, and decided to end the song just before you start to feel like punching “Next”. That says a lot about the songwriting/songwriters. Some bands have to deal with the fragile egos of songwriters who think that the only way to do justice to their music is to create 9-minute epic versions of all of them! That very obviously isn’t the case here!

You would be doing yourself a very big favor if you were to pick up a copy of Ruins . It has all of the good stuff that you expect from a Metal album, without the annoying filler ingredients and flash-in-the-pan stuff you get from run-of-the-mill Metal bands! It is simply good music that moved me as a listener! Any time a CD does that, I am quick to recommend it, as I am doing here!

Don’t let anyone ever tell you that there aren’t any good musicians in the Midwest! Independent music is alive and well, and bands like L.I.E. are proving that everyday! Get a copy of their CD today, and if you’re going to be in the Kansas City area, try to catch them live! They will appreciate it, and you won’t regret it! ---Mark Lush, MWB 1/6/04 - Midwestbands.com

"L.I.E. - "Die Trying""

By Tim Finn

Modern rock with loads of grunge and classic-metal additives: equal parts Metallica, Alice in Chains, Black Sabbath and Staind. They build their songs on walls of guitars made with stone and plaster — not that flimsy Sheetrock stuff. The singer/guitar-slinger is Tim Lyons, who has all the vocal techniques and affects down pat, whether he wants to growl, roar or carry a melody for several bars. And by “melodies” I don’t mean that goopy Nickelback stuff; I mean the kinds of melodies a listener uncovers and hangs onto after adjusting to the thunder and mayhem that surround them. — T.F. - Kansas City Star


04/18/03 - "Ruins" EP (Single "The Devil Within" gained airplay on KQRC 98.9FM - "New Noize" program)
11/08/2005 - "Die Trying." (online release)
02/14/2006 - "Die Trying." (full release)


Feeling a bit camera shy


Failure. Everyone's experienced it. Literally no one in this world goes through the gauntlet of life unscathed. This is the lifeblood from which L.I.E.'s music feeds.

From their beginnings in 2001, L.I.E. has commented on the failures in this world - society's failures, others' failures, and their own personal failures. They have prided themselves on being the collective John Woo of metal – brash, belligerent, and bombastic.

Tim Lyons and Adam Tramposh (bass) began a project in 2001, quickly adding to their ranks Dustin Banbury and Adam Crain (drums). After a long, exhausting search for a lead vocalist, Lyons took up the vocal reigns himself, giving the band a unique melodic sound. Tramposh left the band in 2003.

Directly thereafter, they recorded the "Ruins" EP (released April 18th, 2003). They received their first taste of radio airplay with “The Devil Within,” and the EP was hailed by critics, one of which stating the band was “...highly deserving of a multi-album contract on a major label." (MidwestMetal.info).

Two years later, with the current lineup of Tim Lyons (guitar/vocals), Jeff Elliott (bass), Mike Lane (drums), and Dustin Banbury (keyboards/sampling), they released "Die Trying," an 11 track “action metal” offering which has been reviewed in several publications thus far including Brave Words and Bloody Knuckles and Burn Magazine (UK), all the way down to the Kansas City Star. It is currently available via Amazon.com, CDBaby, and many associated online and practical retailers. With such tracks as "Leech," "Death From Above," and the title track (featuring ex-Black Label Society drummer Phil Ondich), the album is loaded, locked, and ready to dispatch the competition in true L.I.E. fashion.

Now it is time for them to up the ante once again with a new collection of songs, including the angrily catchy “Bastard,” the epic storytelling of “The Job,” and the hauntingly violent melodic timbre of “Deus Ex Machina,” all featured on the included demo disc.