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Moonlight Haze - De Rerum Natura

Moonlight Haze
De Rerum Natura
by Gary Hernandez at 24 July 2019, 11:27 AM

If you choose a name like MOONLIGHT HAZE for your new band, you pretty much have to be a Symphonic metal band. It’s a law of the universe transcribed in the primordial stone of whatever it is the universe if made of. When former TEMPERANCE band mates, Chiara Tricarico and Giulio Capone, formed MOONLIGHT HAZE in 2018, I’m not sure if they had this mind or if they were inspired by some lunar effect of a warm Italian night. Regardless, the end result is a good one. As far as Symphonic metal bands go, MOONLIGHT HAZE can hang with the best of them—EPICA, WITHIN TEMPTATION, SIRENIA. If you look through the pedigree of the band members, this shouldn’t be a surprise. Pulling talent from TEMPERANCE, ELVENKING, SOUND STORM, TEODASIA and OVERTURES, MOONLIGHT HAZE is not new to this game.

“De Rerum Natura” (on the nature of things, Latin) is the band’s debut full-length album. It’s also the title of an epic (translation: massively long) Latin poem written by Lucretius in 50 bce. I recommend the MOONLIGHT HAZE version. Coincidently, or not, there are several other songs on this ten-track album with Latin monikers, including “Ad Astra” (to the stars) and “Odi Et Amo” (I hate and I love). The latter is the title of another ancient poem, also known as “Catullus 85” (great name for a cat, btw) penned by Gaius Valerius Catullus around 65 bce. Are these obscure factoids relevant to the quality of this album? Maybe, maybe not, but I have to believe the band made a conscious decision when they made these creative choices and that those choices have some bearing on the ultimate outcome.

Now to the point: Is “De Rerum Natura” a good album? Hell yes. This is an awesome slice Symphonic metal. Is it new and innovative? Does it shake the genre to its core? Does it set itself apart from all its comparators? No, but you don’t have to redefine a genre to be good. Chiara Tricarico is an incredible vocalist; Giulio Capone’s work on his double bass kit as well as keyboards is fantastic; the riffs, solos, and bass lines are alternatively crushing and melodic. Added to all that are guest artists — Mark Jansen (EPICA) and Laura Macrì (MAYAN) — who both provide first-rate embellishments on top of an already strong offering.

As with most albums of this ilk, “De Rerum Natura” is executed with expertise both from a production stand point as well as songwriting and overall orchestration. My favorite track is “Dark Corners of Myself,” which extends the bands boundaries into unexpected areas. The opening track, “To the Moon and Back,” is also excellent — a classic take on the genre, with keyboard flourishes, inspiring choruses and harmonies, and lifting solos. “The Butterfly Effect” is another standout track, a little emo as the title might suggest, but you don’t come to Symphonic to hear angst ridden tirades against the order. On the low end of the spectrum, I found “A Shelter from the Storm” a little too slow and melancholic for my tastes. It does have an inspiring lilt, but it was just too much for me.

Overall, “De Rerum Natura” is an excellent album in a genre that is already awash with high standards and an excellent field of artists. Straight out of the gate, MOONLIGHT HAZE can compete with the best of them, which is no easy feat. I look forward to hearing more from them in 2020.

Songwriting: 8
Originality: 6
Memorability: 7
Production:  9

3 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. To the Moon and Back
2. Ad Astra
3. Odi Et Amo
4. The Butterfly Effect
5. Time (featuring Mark Jansen and Laura Macrì)
6. Dark Corners of Myself
7. A Restless Mind
8. Deceiver
9. A Shelter from the Storm
10. Goddess
Lineup:
Giulio Capone - Drums, keyboards
Marco Falanga - Guitars
Alberto Melinato - Guitars
Chiara Tricarico - Vocals
Record Label: Scarlet Records
     


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Edited 23 September 2019
 

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