Freshly flown in from Canada comes the debut of a young band (the five guys are between 20 and 23 (Man, I feel old… - Alex)) named MOONLYGHT, titled "Progressive Darkness" and I am absolutely floored! Really, I had heard three soundclips in advance and those had been great, but this album is just brilliant!
Folkloristic Black Metal is the description that equally fits best, but at the same time is just as far off as any other, because MOONLYGHT are more, a lot more!
Opener "Fantasy" alone is an absolute killer, beginning with clear, split vocals, before an immensely multifaceted and powerful composition breaks loose, which is just plainly beautiful! You'll find acoustic guitars, great melodylines, always changing tempos, yet without disturbing the flow of the songs, extremely varied vocals (Roby not only has his clear, theatrical voice, but also Death- and Black-vocals on offer, plus the great voice of guest-singer Jessica Bell), within influences from Black Metal, Death Metal, Folk, traditional Metal and more that I cannot even put into words, united in a masterful track, which is more than eight minutes long, but appears to be over in a blink of an eye.
How difficult it is to pinpoint MOONLYGHT to a single style, is once more shown with the following "The Sceptic Traveller", which starts out with heavy, traditional guitars and light keyboards and then comes over like an ingenious mix from VINTERSORG and own ideas, very varied and dynamic, but covering a very, very wide spectrum, just listen to the dreamy instrumental-part in the middle after that they go faster, folk-influenced again, just to pick up the traditional opening riff again, great! The title of "Ride On The Ice Storms" sounds like a furious, cold Black Metal-ride, but the song itself fully is in the MOONLYGHT-style, varied, heavy, but melodic, with changing vocals, perfectly embedded keyboards, folky melodies, etc etc etc.
Then we have "A Tale From A Fantastic Kingdom" and without a doubt it is fantastic what the five guys from Québec are offering us here. Alternating between emotional and measured, with acoustic guitars and atmospheric keyboards and mid-paced, powerful, how should I call it… Melodic Black? No, just say great, diverse Metal, again with different vocal-styles! And then the hammer in "The Autumn's Freezing Harmony" - an accordion! No, this is not a typo, MOONLYGHT use an accordion and I herewith acknowledge it as an official Metal-instrument! Purists will now start retching, but it excellently fits into the sound of the Canadians, just like the used violin, the acoustic guitars, the extremely varied vocals of Roby and Jessica, another masterpiece when suddenly the tension is ruptured and is continued purely with piano, to re-built the tension with the help of the accordion and the violin, definitely ingenious! Yes, ingenious!
With thundering double-bass-drums "From Honour To Nothingness" is coming our way, throughout faster, with a very good keyboard-solo by Thierry, embedded in a pretty furious deliverance of rough and deathy vocals. At the end the titletrack brings us almost 12 minutes of pure musical joy. Introduced by a MY DYING BRIDE-like violin and a suitingly doomy sequence, "Progressive Darkness" evolves into a track that covers all facets of the MOONLYGHT-sound, all the different vocal styles (including Jessica), continuously changing intensity and tempos, gripping melodies, demanding parts, everything melted into an equally progressive and catchy masterpiece!
Equipped with a great sound and pleasing visual packaging I can justly claim that I am enthused about "Progressive Darkness", this quintet has incredible potential and with its debut already sets a very diverse exclamation mark into the scene, which should be immediately ordered by every quality-loving Metalhead!
Orders should immediately be mailed to: firstname.lastname@example.org.