MOONLIGHT COMEDY is one of those rather odd band names that doesn’t really invoke any aural images as to what the music might sound like. If I didn’t already know better, I may have been a bit leery of listening to a band with such a, um, non-Metal sounding name. Well I can tell you there is nothing comedic about this, instead you get a well-performed Progressive Metal album that is just unique enough to stand out, but maybe not quite good enough to make a big splash.
“Dorothy” is a decent amount more, well, progressive than genre-favorites such as THRESHOLD or VANDEN PLAS, but not as out-there as SPIRAL ARCHITECT or some of ZERO HOUR’s material. MOONLIGHT COMEDY fits somewhere right in the middle. The occasional use of electronic sounds, especially on standout track “The Sea And Time Of Mars”, is interesting and adds a layer of flavor to the album. And being that “Dorothy” is a Prog album, it should go without saying that the instrumental skill of each member is superb. Simone Fiorletta’s guitar playing is a highlight, but he never goes out of his way to outshine his band mates. MOONLIGHT COMEDY are 100% a band, not simply a group of musicians trying to show off their skills.
The production is tight and clean, but the mix occasionally gets annoying. During the keyboard runs and solos (which share about equal duty with the guitars), the instrument is just little too loud and tends to detract from the song rather than add to it. The drums are also a little hollow and clicky in places, but not always, which is mainly noticeable in some of the softer sections. The vocals and guitars are perfectly mixed however, which really helps make up for the mixing faux pas.
The songs themselves also aren’t quite up to par with some of the bigger names in the genre. As with most Prog albums, “Dorothy” will take multiple listens to really start revealing itself, but it just never quite sticks like some other albums in the genre. While it’s playing, though, “Dorothy” is an enjoyable disc with great amounts of variation and some teeth-baring aggressive parts that are especially appealing.
MOONLIGHT COMEDY certainly has some room to grow, but have all the right ingredients to become a standout band in the Progressive Metal genre. There are better albums out there, but genre fans should find plenty to enjoy with “Dorothy”.
(Online April 6, 2007)