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You think that In Flames went way too far into Pop, and also the last Soilwork release wasn´t quite a bulls eye? On “cold turkey” because of a Saukkonen-sound addiction, but it might take a while until his new project Wolfheart enters the market, after he buried all his bands? Well, no reason to fall into depression, as long as there are bands like Lunarsea from Italy who just released their third album “Hundred Light Years”. Melodic Death Metal, where Growls and a (“heroic”) clean male voice are mixed into a blend of tough Speedparts, dramatic blasts and cool melodies, with a touch of Black Metal or Prog – yes indeed, that might sound familiar.
Don´t get me wrong here – Lunarsea are no copies of Melodic Death in its Scandinavian incarnation, yet you can hear the influences. This band has been experimenting – as Power-Prog-Band named “Hollowearth” until they found their style around 2005. I do not know their earlier outputs “Hydrodynamic Wave” (2006) and “Route Code Selector” (2009), yet I am not astonished that they gained some reputation quickly, not just in their home country but also abroad (e.g. festival gigs, opening for Darkane, Sinister, Rage, Leave’s Eye, Orphaned Land, Obscura, Nargaroth, The Haunted, Primal Fear, God Dethroned, Nightrage, Septic Flesh, Firewind etc, Italian tour with mit Dark Tranquility). Excellent and precise guitar work, awesome soli, the keyboard is occasionally granted a more dominant position in the style of Children Of Bodom, but mostly provides a solid melody basis, and the voices work together in harmony. The songs – just like the album as such – have variety, there are epic-bombastic parts from a Black Metal dimension (e.g. Sonic Depth Finder), a touch of Folk (the violin in Aphelion Point) and Prog elements, which should make clear that Lunarsea is not to be confused easily with their Scandinavian relatives.
I just cannot avoid to think of the early Before The Dawn when listening to Pro Nebula Nova or Ephemeris 1679, and Ianus or As Seaweed remind me of In Flames in their Jesters Race era ... which should be interpreted as a compliment and recommendation, as those latter tracks are in my opinion the best and most catchy on this album. Maybe a little bit more of this ear candy character, a little bit more of those clean vocals could have been added, but that´s the only thing I can find to “complain” about...
Summing up: Lunarsea is a must-have for fans of this genre.