The splodge that proclaims LUNA AD NOCTUM firmly places them on a pedestal and begs you to find reasons to knock them off it. The grand descriptions become flea bombs to hurl should disappointment follow. The target placed on a chain around their neck states “The Perfect Evil In Mortal” is a must for DIMMU BORGIR and CRADLE OF FILTH appreciators. Come back, I haven't finished.
If the mention of those two household names has you running to the hills then keep running, as for me, it sparks an interest in what LUNA AD NOCTUM have boiling in the pot. The first observation would be that initial impressions confirm that this album does indeed sound like the result of DIMMU and CRADLE meeting in a public toilet and having a private moment, with DIMMU coming out on top. Further inspection, however, shows that this band have taken inspiration and then honed it the point whereby they can legitimately claim that they have their own identity laced into their third album.
I enjoyed their debut “Dimness Profound” and find myself impressed by “The Perfect Evil In Mortal.” Despite the powerful production, the music does not sound too polished lending an abrasive quality to counter the greasing of the rails brought about by the keyboards. Talking of which, the keys here are unobtrusive and are used for enhancement, they have a soft tone in juxtaposition to the harshness of the rhythm guitar. Also flicking the ear of the cheesegrating rhythm is the frequent burst of melodic lead guitar that skates across the solid compositional body of tracks like “Humana Androide” Occasionally the keyboard is used to add in piano-like pseudo classical scaling. Vocally, we are treated to hoarse snarls, without any histrionics, that spit out the emphasis whilst remaining in check with the instrumentation.
This album is accessible whilst remaining well within the extreme. There is bombast aplenty without going over the top like the likes of ANOREXIA NERVOSA. The band has done a sterling job in maintaining the balance between the instruments. Case in point would be the drumming that absolutely batters the listener without becoming the focus as with Nick Barker's DIMMU contributions. Remaining on the drums, what a cacophony, brutal yet controlled they blast without becoming monotonous thanks to frequent rolls and the occasional restrained section. It is the riffs though that maketh the Metal and LUNA AD NOCTUM have them by the bucketful. Some of them will have you soaring like the blazers during “Dimness In Me” and “Deviante Obscurante”
Where the band succeeds over their inspirers, certainly in their latterday form, is the natural energy of the music, nothing sounds forced or contrived despite the relative genre sophistication. The speed is broken by slower passages but the strength remains and the fullness of production ensures that weakness just has no place here. Even the final track despite it's somewhat doleful title has me hooked in a positive way, the infectiousness of the guitar just giving me a lift.
What more is there to say? “The Perfect Evil In Mortal” is a rip roaring bouncing bomb of an album. Throw what you like at this band, they deserve their place on that pedestal and they ain't shifting for any fucker. (Online September 3, 2006)