Lana Lane

Picture of Lana Lane

Love Is An Illusion

Lana Lane - Love Is An Illusion ©1995 Avalon
1. LIAA Prelude
2. Love Is An Illusion
3. Coloured Life
4. Cold Outside
5. Into The Ether
6. Through The Fire
7. LIAA Interlude
8. Through The Rain
9. Faerie Tale State Of Mind
10. Dream Burnin' Down
11. Can't Find My Way Home
12. A Night In The Garden
13. LIAA Postlude

Lana Lane is one of the most prolific female vocalists in hard rock / heavy metal, but she is almost unheard of in the United States. For fans of intelligent, quality music who live in the USA, this is very unfortunate. With something around a dozen CDs in her discography, Lana Lane will make a very enjoyable "discovery" when you buy one of them and listen for yourself. You'll quickly hear why she is one of the premier female vocalists playing today.

Lana Lane has often been compared with Ann Wilson of Heart. The comparison is one she welcomes and it is a fitting similarity. Both sing with power and passion and have clean, clear voices. The words are not distorted when being belted out. Lana and husband, Erik Norlander from Rocket Scientists of progressive rock fame, have formed Think Tank Media which produces her discs, those of Rocket Scientists, Erik Norlander's recent solo outing Into The Sunset, and a few other artists. All of Lana Lane's material is available for purchase at their website.

Musically, Lana Lane sounds like Heart with Emerson, Lake and Palmer crammed into the foreground. The song are framed by the chugging guitar and walled in by the keys while being framed by Lane's gorgeous voice. She is not the soaring operatic vocalist like Tarja of Nightwish or Anneke of The Gathering. Her style is more power and projection in the vein of Ann Wilson or Grace Slick. She gives the distinct impression of being able to sing a lullaby with enough power to blast you through the wall and sound good doing it. If Pat Benatar is too syrupy sweet for you and you wish Heart would go back to playing solid rock and roll, Lana Lane is the ticket for you.

Since Erik Norlander is the keyboard wizard behind Rocket Scientists and he plays on Lana's CDs, the music has a lot of keyboard work in it. There are lots of different styles and enough changes in mood and tempo to hold your interest. There is enough edge on these songs to hold fans of metal and rock music alike.

The songs on this version of the CD have been remastered over the 1995 release and a couple additional tracks have been recorded for it. The result is a CD full of great heavy rock music. The slick production, great musicianship and fantastic vocals make this an enjoyable listen from start to finish. "Faerie Tale State Of Mind" is a song that immediately sticks in your mind.

Lana Lane is the cure for the Brittney Spears blues, a condition induced by the fear that there are no serious, intelligent female vocalists left.

Review by Matthew Braymiller

Review date: 07/2000

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Garden Of The Moon

Lana Lane - Garden Of The Moon ©1998 Avalon
1. River Of Stars
2. Destination Roswell
3. Seasons
4. Moongarden
5. Evolution Revolution
6. Under The Olive Tree
7. Eternal Waters
8. Dream Of The Dragonfly
9. Garden Of The Moon
10. Symphony Of Angels

Lana Lane's third CD returns to the razor edge type songs that are found on her debut Love Is An Illusion. The energy level is stepped up and the production shines. The songs are longer allowing for more involved vocal arrangements and complex musical composition. The difference is seen in the lengthier lyrics and musical themes that are more fully developed. A good example is the song "Moongarden" which lulls you with its slow pace and hooks you with its growling guitar trills. This is followed by the speedy "Evolution Revolution" that slams you to the floor and runs in circles around you. I don't know if Lana is to be congratulated for keeping pace with the band, or the band for keeping pace with Lana's singing. The keyboards are more out in front on this disc than on Love Is An Illusion. This CD is almost an amalgam of Love Is An Illusion and her second disc, Curious Goods.

This disc shows much promise for the future, promise that is realized on Queen Of The Ocean and her most recent disc, Secrets Of Astrology. This is powerful, heavy music fronted by one of the best female vocalists going today. Lana Lane makes a great addition to any collection of hard rock / heavy metal with female vocalists. Female vocalists of this caliber are hard to find and well worth the effort when one comes across a gem like Lana Lane.

Review by Matthew Braymiller

Review date: 07/2000

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Queen Of The Ocean

Lana Lane - Queen Of The Ocean ©1999 Limb Music
1. In The Hall Of The Ocean Queen
2. Night Falls
3. Queen Of The Ocean
4. Let Heaven In
5. Frankenstein Unbound
6. Souls Of The Mermaids
7. Rainbow's End
8. Without You
9. Through The Rain
10. Escher's Staircase
11. Symphony Of Angels

Regarded by many fans as her best effort, Queen Of The Ocean is a great album of epic symphonic progressive rock music that hints at the edges of heavy metal. The CD runs seventy-one minutes over eleven tracks, making for longer than usual songs. Lane, and husband Erik Norlander from Rocket Scientists, make a great team for composition and song writing. The rest of the band is present in the song writing, and the years they have spent together as a team pay off in some of the best material they have written as a unit. The music is atmospheric and spacious. Some of the songs are light and airy while others like "Frankenstein Unbound", "Souls Of Mermaids", "Rainbow's End" and the reprise of "Through The Rain" remind the listener that Lane can rock with the best of them. The main instrument on this disc is Lane's voice which is powerful and soulful. She sings to the full of her capacity on this disc, imbuing each song with its own emotion. The lyrics are intelligent and the combination of the musicians and Lane's singing lend a great atmosphere to each track on this CD. Her singing is such that each word is clear and intelligible. It makes for great stuff to sing along with as you're driving down the road . . . just watch your speed. Fans of intelligent hard rock / heavy metal fronted by top-notch female vocalists have not had a wealth of bands from which to choose. Such fans need to have Lana Lane very prominently displayed on their shelves.

Review by Matthew Braymiller

Review date: 07/2000

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Secrets Of Astrology

Lana Lane - Secrets Of Astrology ©2000 Limb Music
1. Astrology Prelude
2. Secrets Of Astrology
3. Alexandria
4. Raining
5. The Bell
6. Speed Of Sound
7. Under The Sun
8. Tarot
9. Asherah
10. Guardian Angel
11. Long Winter Dreams
12. Astrology Postlude
13. Rhapsody

The first thing that caught my eye was the sticker on the front of the jewel box that named some of the featured musicians on this album. Arjen Lucassen of Ayreon was no surprise since he has conspired with Erik Norlander in the past. But Ed Warby from Gorefest? What is the drummer from a death metal band doing playing with Lana Lane whose style is quite different? According to the production notes included with the CD, he was there at Arjen's recommendation and was very eager to play with Lana. And play he does! Read on.

Lana's husband, Erik Norlander of Rocket Scientists, explains that Lana wanted a bigger sound, the heavier tracks needed to be heavier and the ballads more atmospheric. To do this Lana made a fairly dramatic personnel change, eliminating everyone but the bass player, Tony Franklin. Remaking your band when you are already a very successful artist is a daring gamble. Doing so and succeeding is an even harder task. Lana Lane has done both. This album is nothing short of a masterpiece. This is almost seventy-three minutes of music offering a great escape. In a recent edition of Progression magazine, Lane said that all the songs on this album were written on guitar to give them more edge. That edge really stands out in the songs. They are more aggressive and driving than those on Queen Of The Ocean. The guitar is further out in front, sharing the limelight with the keyboards. But both guitar and keys step aside when Lane steps up to the microphone. Her singing on this CD is even more energetic and impassioned than that on Queen Of The Ocean. The harmonies on this disc are incredible, reminding me of the Roches though, with a lot more oomph behind them. The edge she wanted is present both in the singing and in the play. Drumming? Wonderful stuff. The song, "Speed Of Sound" blazes along, complete with a double-bass run from start to finish. The title track may be the best song she's ever done. The songs are very cohesive, fitting with one another very well. The themes revolve around the otherworldly, the mystic, the unknown or the future. The themes include a tenth century B.C.E. fertility cult goddess, astrology, tarot readings and other attempts of humanity to know the unknowable. The lyrics are full of searching and questioning. The words are presented in powerful tracks that rock along and in atmospheric ballads that transport you elsewhere while you listen. Easily the best CD Lana Lane has ever released, this disc has a lot to offer, not the least of which is promise for a very fulfilling future.

Review by Matthew Braymiller

Review date: 07/2000

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