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AlithiA - The Moon Has Fallen Award winner

The Moon Has Fallen
by Dave "That Metal Guy" Campbell at 26 September 2018, 7:59 AM

Renowned for their spellbindingly powerful live shows and hypnotizing tribal flavors, Australian six-piece progressive rock livewire ALITHIA will release their highly anticipated sophomore record "The Moon has Fallen" worldwide on October 26th, 2018 through Wild Thing Records.

ALITHIA meaning truth in Greek, was formed by singer John Rousvanis in 2004. Following the release of two experimental EP’s in "The Rising" (2009) and "A Realm O Null" (2011), ALITIA honed their sound with the ethereal debut album "To the Edge of Time" (2014). The band’s momentum gathered steam, becoming a core component of Australia’s progressive rock scene revival, leading them to tour Australia and Europe several times over with The Music (AUS) affirming, “their live show is starting to attain legendary status”. Their captivating live setup was further solidified with the joining of young prodigious guitarist Nguyen Phambam in 2017. “The Moon has Fallen” contains eight tracks.

“The Sun” is a lengthy opening track, at close to eleven minutes. It opens cautiously, with a riff echoing lightly in a background of swirling winds and keys. Following a short and somewhat ominous passage, the vocals start in a dreamy and trippy fashion, with Post-Metal influences and a full and rich chorus. It picks up steam towards the end, finishing in crescendo of bright colors. “Empress” is much shorter, and features an opening fuzzy bass guitar riff and plenty of ambiance in the background. The vocals are drawn out and the guitar makes good use of a groove, while the vocals alternate between sublime passages and outright angry shouts.

“Diamonds” is just over three minutes in length. It is more linear in scope…a melancholy mix of ethereal vocals and the steady pulse of bass guitar that lashes out squarely with emotions. “Blood Moon” is a six-minute tracks that opens auspiciously, with the hard bite of grieving vocals tempered with a tender sound that takes you away to a different place…the far recesses of space, while you float weightless on your journey. “Three Eyes” opens with ominous piano notes that lead to a furious rhythm that builds upward towards the sky with anger and rage, while the instrumentation remains subdued. It shifts here and there, taking in accents of melody and twisting them with more straightforward passages. “The Knife” is shorter piece, with tender piano notes, and a sad and melancholy tone. It’s pretty however in a very organic way, and stick with you long after the final note fades.

“Breathe” takes a little bit to get going, opening with a charming piano and vocal passage that leads to a dreamy little rhythm, with subtle melodies that seem to surround you from every angle. The somber guitar tones at the end really add strength to this feeling, in one of the prettiest endings I have heard in a while. “Faces in the Leaves” closes the album, a 5/4 rhythm that is dreamy and eventually turning to 4/4. It’s one of the most unusual time meters I have ever heard, but don’t let it take you away from the beauty of the song. It’s a fairly depressing song that really tears at you and leaves you empty inside when you are done listening, including the final two minutes which build from fuzzy amorphousness to a re-visit of the original sound.

What was ALITHIA trying to accomplish here with “The Moon has Fallen?” I’m not entirely sure, but in this case I would say that the journey is more important than the destination. For me, the album flirts with crossing that line between great Progressive music and utter pretentiousness or a lack of general direction. But listen just a bit closer. If you do, you will catch all the nuances that make the album as good as it is. It’s an eclectic mix of pure melancholy bliss that somehow warms you in its desolate tones. This is definitely a hard thing to accomplish, and very much believe that ALITHIA new exactly what they were doing in this regard.

Songwriting: 9
Originality: 10
Memorability: 9
Production: 9

4 Star Rating

1. The Sun
2. Empress
3. Diamonds
4. Blood Moon
5. Three Eyes
6. The Knife
7. Breathe
8. Faces in the Leaves
John Rousvanis – Lead Vocals, Guitar
Nguyen Phambam – Guitar
Tibor Gede – Bass
Danny Costantino – Keyboards, Backing Vocals
Jeffrey Ortiz Raul Castro – Percussion, Keyboards, Backing Vocals
Mark 'Vel' Vella – Drums
Record Label: Wild Things Records


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Edited 02 December 2022

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