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Lutharo “Chasing Euphoria” album review by Curtis J. Dupree

Lutharo band members

Canada’s Lutharo has returned with their sophomore effort. Beneath some truly eye-catching cover art lies a release that is hard to categorize. The press release describes their music as a “mixture of traditional heavy metal, melodic death metal, thrash metal and more.” I would say that their sound leans heavily into melodeath, with a lot of thrash and power styles present, as well. The end result is a vicious, but melodic record that should appeal to metal fans across the spectrum. 

Two things immediately hit the listener upon first hearing Chasing Euphoria. The first is the intensity of the musicianship. All the musicians are very skilled on their respective instruments and it only adds to the pulverizing feel the music gives. The other thing that stands out is the power of Krista Shipperbottom’s vocals. She can go from a menacing growl to a soaring melody at the drop of a hat and this skill makes you sit up and take notice. 

The production is solid overall, although sometimes the clean vocals can feel a bit muddy, which I believe to be due to the production/mixing rather than any skill issue with Shipperbottom. The songwriting is overall solid, with good riffs, leads, and melodies. The only critique I would have is that the instrumental aspects can blend together a bit between songs. That being said, each track has a memorable melody that helps distinguish one song from another. 

After an epic, building, orchestral intro named “Gates of Enchantment,” the listener gets pulverized by “Reaper’s Call.” This song features a great riff and some shredding leads. The pace is quite speedy, and even features some blast beats. The harsh vocals give way to a melodic and catchy chorus with a great use of double kick. The bridge starts heavy and then features some nicely melodic lead work. 

Ruthless Bloodline” kicks off full throttle. This song is a relentless attack, but sports a catchy chorus and good leads. There is a brief, but really cool riff that features in the bridge. I do think this song has some good riffs that could be played for a bit longer than they are. 

Shredding guitar work is the name of the game on “Time to Rise” before the verses switch to a much softer sound. While I like the verses, I am not convinced the juxtaposition between the poppy sound on the verses and the harsher sections of the rest of the song completely works. Nevertheless, each individual part of the song is great, and the song sports one of my favorite choruses on the album. 

Born to Ride” follows and features a good riff and some of the most effective harsh vocals on the album. The chorus is appealing, as well.

The harsh vocals are probably the catchiest parts of “Bonded to the Blade,” sure to be a favorite of melodeath fans. The song features some well-executed blast beats with symphonic touches. I really dig the solo on this song. 

The title track sports some catchy riffing during the verses and a lovely, soaring chorus. This is probably one of the strongest tracks on the record. 

Creating a King” features one of the album’s heaviest riffs during the prechorus, before giving way to a very hooky chorus. The bass work during this song is a standout, as is the great solo. 

We get both good riffs and appealing use of symphonic elements in “Strong Enough to Fall.” The chorus is quite lovely.

The interestingly titled “Paradise or Parasite” follows and once again gives us some strong riffing. It’s a solid song with great rhythms in both the verses and prechorus. The chorus itself is not one of the catchiest on the album, but the bridge sports a truly killer thrash riff. The interplay between the riffing and the symphonic elements in the bridge is a highlight. 

A good bass riff highlights “Freedom of the Night,” the longest song on the album. The chorus has a great melody and really highlights Shipperbottom’s skill. I definitely hear some melodeath elements on this song. The bridge is effectively dramatic. 

The songwriting on Chasing Euphoria is overall strong. All the musicians bring their A-game and Shipperbottom both growls and sings with remarkable power. If some of the clean vocals had a bit clearer production and the songs were instrumentally a little more distinct, we would have an all-time classic on our hands. As it is, we still have a great album that deserves a wide hearing. Any melodeath, thrash, or power metal fans out there owe it to themselves to give Chasing Euphoria a good listen.

Curtis rating: 8.5/10

Get your copy here: https://lutharo.afr.link/chasingeuphoriaPR

Lutharo Euphoria Album cover

Track Listing:

01. Gates Of Enchantment
02. Reaper’s Call
03. Ruthless Bloodline
04. Time To Rise
05. Born To Ride
06. Bonded To The Blade
07. Chasing Euphoria
08. Creating A King
09. Strong Enough To Fall
10. Paradise Or Parasite
11. Freedom Of The Night

LUTHARO are:
Krista Shipperbottom | lead vocals
Victor Bucur | guitars, backing vocals
Chris Pacey | bass
Cory Hofing | drums
Jeff Wilson | guitars (live)

LUTHARO online:
https://linktr.ee/lutharo
www.lutharo.com
www.facebook.com/lutharoofficial
www.instagram.com/lutharo_official
www.twitter.com/lutharoofficial
www.tiktok.com/@lutharo_official
www.youtube.com/lutharoofficial
www.twitch.tv/lutharoofficial
www.reigningphoenixmusic.com/artists/lutharo

LUTHARO live:

15.03.2024 CA Hamilton, ON – Corktown Pub (Upstairs) [TICKETS]
16.03.2024 US Lakewood, OH – The Foundry Concert Club [TICKETS*NEW*
17.03.2024 US Cincinnati, OH – Legends Bar & Venue [TICKETS*NEW*

»All Hell’s Breaking Loose Across America«
w/ RAVEN, VICIOUS RUMORS, WICKED
Presented by Tone Deaf Touring, GLM Artists, Silver Lining Music,
Steamhammer & Global Rock Records

22.03.2024 US Cape Coral, FL – Nice Guys* [TICKETS]
23.03.2024 US Panama City, FL – Mosey’s Downtown* [TICKETS AT DOOR]
24.03.2024 US New Orleans, LA – Southport Music Hall [TICKETS]
29.03.2024 US Austin, TX – The Lost Well [TICKETS]
30.03.2024 US San Antonio, TX – Fitzgerald’s [TICKETS]
02.04.2024 US West Hollywood, CA – Whisky a Go-Go [TICKETS]
03.04.2024 US San Francisco, CA – DNA Lounge [TICKETS]
05.04.2024 US Portland, OR – Hawthorne Theatre* [TICKETS]
06.04.2024 CA Vancouver, BC – The Wise Hall* [TICKETS]
07.04.2024 US Seattle, WA – Substation* [TICKETS]
08.04.2024 US Boise, ID – The Shredder* [TICKET INFO COMING SOON]
09.04.2024 US Salt Lake City, UT – Aces High Saloon* [TICKETS]
11.04.2024 US Denver, CO – Marquis Theater* [TICKETS]
13.04.2024 US Lincoln, NE – Cosmic Eye* [TICKETS]
14.04.2024 US Chicago, IL – Reggies [TICKETS]
18.04.2024 US Detroit, MI – Sanctuary* [TICKETS]
20.04.2024 CA Toronto, ON – The Hard Luck Bar [TICKETS]
22.04.2024 CA Ottawa, ON – The Rainbow Bistro* [TICKETS]
23.04.2024 CA Québec City, QC – La Source de la Martinière* [TICKETS]
24.04.2024 CA Montréal, QC – Piranha Bar* [TICKETS]
25.04.2024 US Sayreville, NL – Starland Ballroom [TICKETS]
26.04.2024 US Providence, RI – Alchemy* [TICKETS]
27.04.2024 US New Hope, PA – John & Peter’s* [TICKETS]
30.04.2024 US Raleigh, NC – Lincoln Theatre* [TICKETS]
04.05.2024 US Pompano Beach, FL – Piper’s Pub [TICKETS]
*no WICKED

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