The debut full-length from Finnish fantasy/gothic metal outfit Battlelore, Where the Shadows Lie, displays more songwriting and arrangement skills than listeners might expect from a new act. One reason for the group's original delivery is their unconventional lineup. In all, there are seven members including three vocalists performing on this 2002 offering. Founder/guitarist Jyri Vahvanen is joined by guitarist and co-lead vocalist Tommi Havo, second (clean) vocalist Patrik Mennander, female vocalist Kaisa Jouhki, keyboard player Maria, drummer Henri Vahvanen, and bassist Miika Kokkola. Together, these musicians deliver highly melodic, finely crafted material. Maria's contributions are essential, which in noteworthy as keyboards rarely play more than a supporting role in similar metal combos. Coherent and stylized, this record should impress fans of Battlelore's rather specialized genre.
AllMusic Review by Vincent Jeffries