Lyraka: Lyraka

Codpiece not included.

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Written as a soundtrack to a yet to be released animated movie about Neires a ‘metalhead’ who finds an ‘enchanted guitar’ and goes in search of a mermaid (King Arthur meets Splash?) Lyraka is the brainchild of Blackmore obsessed guitarist Andy Di Gelsomnia and his BBW body building ‘gothic mermaid’ model muse Jasmine Lyraka.

Amusingly dubbed as a – wait for it music lovers – Wagnerian Opera Metal, the whole concept screams Box Office disaster but somehow it works.

Gelsomnia, a more than competent guitarist and songwriter has managed to pull in an impressive cast of performers including Graham Bonnet who is on fiery form, and Benedictum’s frighteningly gravel-throated Veronica Freeman. At its best this sounds like a tasty hybrid of Dio circa Rainbow, Iron Maiden, and early Metallica with a touch of Manowar testosterone rock.

This is a labour of love by a couple that obviously spend far too much time reading cheap fantasy novels and playing World of Warcraft. Can’t wait for part two.

Pete Makowski joined Sounds music weekly aged 15 as a messenger boy, and was soon reviewing albums. When no-one at the paper wanted to review Deep Purple's Made In Japan in December 1972, Makowski did the honours. The following week the phone rang in the Sounds office. It was Purple guitarist Ritchie Blackmore. "Thanks for the review," said Blackmore. "How would you like to come on tour with us in Europe?" He also wrote for Street Life, New Music News, Kerrang!, Soundcheck, Metal Hammer and This Is Rock, and was a press officer for Black SabbathHawkwindMotörhead, the New York Dolls and more. Sounds Editor Geoff Barton introduced Makowski to photographer Ross Halfin with the words, “You’ll be bad for each other,” creating a partnership that spanned three decades. Halfin and Makowski worked on dozens of articles for Classic Rock in the 00-10s, bringing back stories that crackled with humour and insight. Pete died in November 2021.