Formed as THORUM, this Swedish sextet changed its name to MOONLIGHT AGONY, which also fits better with the band’s sound. It’s described as “Dark Symphony Metal”, which somehow disturbs me. Because what is offered here is Symphonic Metal a la SONATA ARCTICA or THUNDERSTONE. With the difference that this is somewhat more playful now and then and that influences from the Prog sector as well as from what bands a la ROTTING CHRIST/DIMMU BORGIR do, are present.
Well, this becomes evident in the symphonic keyboard passages, but MOONLIGHT AGONY don’t sound particularly „dark“ at any time. Rather mystical and partly also epic. And this sounds quite impressive, the way the Northmen arranged their passages. Another plus is the strong singing by vocalist Chity from Sri Lanka whom I still remember very well from AVALON. His organ is richly faceted and has class. Combined with the really captivating instrumental passages, this turns into an exciting affair for all fans of the genre. It’s only the choruses on two songs (“Ceremony”, “Ghost”) which are so trashy I almost pissed my thong…And this is also the disc’s weak point, if it wasn’t for these stupid tralala-choruses, a way higher mark would be the result. Because besides that the music is very appealing!
It’s especially „Vanished“ which is a song that was simply brilliantly done and demands a thorough amount of respect from me. “Equilibrium” has also been constructed rather epicly and delights through song structures that are full of breaks which have been used completely in favour of the song. Or the driving, slightly folky opener “Into Darkness” definitely pleases you and is the ideal introduction to this somewhat discrepant album.
Nevertheless, thumbs up for the 765th hope from Sweden...There has to be a nest somewhere! (Online November 12, 2004)