Review – Ace Of Wands

Album: Lioness
Release Date: February 22, 2019
Genre: Alternative Rock

Lioness is Toronto’s Ace of Wands debut LP.

Lioness is a wind: sometimes blowing a fierce gale, sometimes just letting a chilly breeze blowing over your bones. Using harmonized vocals, violins, drums, synth-bass and electric guitar, ‘Lioness’ builds its romantic yet dark power. The first few tracks of Lioness kick off the album with intense power guitar riffs and rapid drum beats to build the feeling of a charging wild beast. As the album progresses, however, the beat slows, the violin starts making a greater presence, and the tracks become dreamy and melancholic.

A standout for me was the track ‘Winter Wind;’ Using picking violin strums, “Winter Wind” evokes a classic folk song about the death of someone close, but from the perspective of the indifferent seasons. The lyrics reflect as calmly on how one’s shadow looks in the snow as they do on how to bury the dead in a blizzard. A truly haunting track.

Another standout track to me was the final track on the album, “Wolf Cubs” which starts slow, but then a heavy beat kicks in followed by powerful guitar riffs that grow faster and louder as the song progress. The increasing heartbeat of rhythm builds on the song’s theme of the joy of moving from a constrained worldview to adulthood and freedom. As the lyrics say that they may have learned how to live from their family and instinct, “But now I see, I am the maker of me” and are free to forge their own path.

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