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Moonlight Haze – Lunaris Award winner

Moonlight Haze
by Rachel Montgomery at 23 May 2020, 2:10 PM

MOONLIGHT HAZE hits the right marks for a symphonic metal band: whimsical themes, powerful melodies, and orchestral compositions that are inspiring. Formed in 2018 in Italy, they’re releasing their sophomore album "Lunaris" and are composed of talent from bands like TEMPERANCE, ELVENKING, and SOUND STORM. Their album is a throwback to the golden age of symphonic metal in the 2000's, playing off the classical and fantastic sounds from then. For fans of this sub-genre, this is a band worth listening to.

The album wastes no time introducing us to its whimsical, symphonic world. While the intro of the opening track, “Till The End,” is a little synthetic for my tastes, the vocals compensate. The clear notation, sometimes with the gritty rock edge, makes the vocals stand out from prettier, more operatic fare. The guitar solo and the way it swells into the song is also a plus. Throughout the album, there’s great vocal emotive range; the vocals can be operatic and smooth or gritty and more metal. The vocal variety on “Lunaris” is so distinct, I thought it was a duet at first. The ambiance is also theatrical joy, as “The Rabbit In The Moon” begins with beautiful strings. There are also Celtic elements in the beginning of many songs that open the songs like a portal into another land. Also, the operatic belt at the end of the refrain in “Lunaris” sounds almost identical to Tarja Turunen.

The slow song, “Under Your Spell” is more of a straightforward ballad rather than an opportunity to implement more progressive elements. The more interesting elements come out in the next track, “Enigma”, especially with a string riff. The song goes from sounding like an anime theme song to an orchestral choir-fueled refrain. The end of the song really sounds like it was sung by Turunen to the point where I wondered if she did guest work for the album. For variety in the music, the song “Without You” is also exemplary. With thrashing singles and a vocal lead that goes from a rocking verse to a completely operatic chorus to guttural extreme vocals before the solo, it’s a wild listen. the album closes with a nearly-eight-minute track, opening with a beautiful piano melody before descending into a full orchestral, frenzied symphony. On this track, they pull out the tricks they used throughout the album: vocal changes, intensity, and whimsy, leaving us with a long, exciting ride and a symphonic, cosmic outro.

Overall, the album is energetic, uplifting, and I will be blasting it from my car once I’m let outside again. The music has varied themes and for the most part is an exciting listen for fans of orchestral, thematic symphonic music. If you enjoy whimsy in your music, this is for you!

Songwriting: 9
Production: 10
Musicianship: 10
Memorability: 9

5 Star Rating

1. Till the End
2. The Rabbit of the Moon
3. Lunaris
4. Under Your Spell
5. Enigma
6. Wish Upon a Scar
7. The Dangerous Art of Overthinking
8. Without You
9. Of Birth and Death
10. Nameless City
11. Enigma (English Version)
Chiara Tricarico - Vocals
Marco Falanga – Guitars
Alberto Melinato - Guitars
Alessandro Jacobi - Bass
Giulio Capone – Keyboards, Drums
Record Label: Scarlet Records


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Edited 28 May 2023

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