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Moon Chamber – Lore of the Land Award winner

Moon Chamber
Lore of the Land
by Rachel Montgomery at 23 October 2019, 1:09 AM

If CELTIC WOMAN was a Metal band, it would be MOON CHAMBER. The band combines its experience in bands like CRYSTAL VIPER, SARACEN and PAGAN ALTAR to create a melodic, Folk-sounding supergroup. This is their debut album as a group, and it’s a fun ride.

De Temporum Ratione” begins with a reverberating chorus that sounds poppy. When the music hits, it roars into intensity. The singer is high-pitched and has excellent control of her voice in any register she’s used so far. As an opener, it gets me pumped and makes me excited for the rest of the album.

Only” begins a little slower, but with similar high-pitched guitars as the last song. Again, the singer has good quality and the way the melody soars is uplifting. The “music box” sound as bookends was a nice touch. The melody is straightforward without a lot of twists and turns, but it works for a shorter song.

When Stakes Are High” is another fast-paced melodic song. It has a little more bite than the last two with a more pronounced guitar. The solo is lower than the last one with longer notes and more of a melody. It’s also in the traditional place between the refrain and the final chorus, unlike the opening track.

So far, the songs have been punchy, fist-pumping melodies that are short. There’s not a lot of variety, although each song individually is listenable on repeat. “Ravenmaster” breaks the trend with a slow, jaunty opening. The intro evolves into a Celtic, sea-shanty inspired riff juxtaposed with a slow vocal melody. Speaking of vocals, this is the first time I’ve heard the singer stick to her lower register through the verse. It goes back up through subtle, ascending key changes through the song. However, in either register, it’s still well-controlled.

We’ll Find a Way” is the slow ballad on the song. Like the last song, it has a sea-shanty feeling, written in 3/4 time. The song is a narrative about forbidden love and continues throughout with the same mandolin-style guitars and waltz tune. The harmonies and time make the song beautiful, but there’s not a lot of change through the song.

The Nine Ladies” brings us back to intensity, but with a slower, more ominous tone than the first four songs. The song also features melodic changes through the introduction, a lower, edgier guitar, and the most distinct melody on the album for the heavier songs. I enjoyed the blending of acoustic stylings with heavier, darker-sounding guitars. It fit thematically and didn’t feel jumbled together. The violin outro was also a plus. Overall, with the reasons above and the ambiance of the song, this is my favorite track so far.

The Goddess and the Green Man” is another slow song, opening with a piano arpeggio harmonized with the guitar melody. It’s slower than the last slow song, less of a ballad and more of a dirge. That is, until the second verse when a heavy guitar line revs in. Again, the juxtaposition between the slow melody and the heavier guitars work well.

Crystal Wind” harkens back to the first few songs with simple, melodic instrumentation. The difference I noticed was the vocal range through the song is expanded, the tempo changes through the song, starting slower and picking up speed as the song goes along. After the first verse, the melody changes, becoming more intense. It would be fun at a concert.

The Plague” is the most anthemic song on the album, featuring a steady beat and march-like instrumentations. It’s the most fist-pumping, riling song on the album, and like the last song, would be a ton of fun at a concert.

The final song, “Knight Errant,” is a lower, intense song with some fast guitar play that stands out from the rest of the songs. It’s another fast, strong song ending the album on a fast, but short-for-a-closer note.

Overall, it’s a fun album. If you’re like me and you enjoy the whimsy of Melodic Metal, this is definitely an album for you. However, if you’re looking for more progressive elements or like your Metal really edgy and heavy, you may find it too commercial-sounding or simplistic. Technically and structurally, it’s well-arranged with enough variety to keep you engaged throughout, and I can’t wait to see what else the band can do!

Songwriting: 10
Originality: 8
Memorability: 10
Production: 9

4 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. De Temporum Ratione
2. Only
3. When Stakes Are High
4. Ravenmaster
5. We'll Find a Way
6. The Nine Ladies
7. The Goddess and the Green Man
8. Crystal Wind
9. The Plague
10. Knight Errant (My Son)
Lineup:
Marta Gabriel – Vocals
Rob Bendelow – Guitars
Paul Bradder – Keyboards
Richard Bendelow – Bass
Andy Green – Drums
Record Label: No Remorse Records
     


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