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Moonloop - Devocean Award winner

by Dave "That Metal Guy" Campbell at 09 June 2017, 6:20 AM

MOONLOOP was founded in 2001, in Barcelona, Spain; A Progressive Death Metal act. Up through 2007, the band released four Demo albums. In 2012, the debuted their first full-length album, entitled “Deeply From The Earth.” Their newest album here is presented, entitled “Devocean,” and contains eight tracks. From their Facebook page, “Devocean” is centered around “a journey into the depths of oneself, in which personal experiences are linked to the fascination for the marine universe and the origin of life in the oceans. A cry of hope that unifies music and emotions to lead the listener to the voice of his own conscience.”

Eerie guitar leads break the intro to “Megalodon,” like the rapidly flapping wings of a creature of flight designed as a cyborg. The Death vocals are deep and low-ranged, and there is a heavy discord to the riff at times. Fleeting moments of melody sprinkle over the chaos here and there, tempering some of the savagery of the overall sound. “Nightmare Gallery” has a groovy opening riff, like something from the old PANTERA days, but soon it branches out with a Proggy Death sound, with unusually changing riffs and time signature alterations and the deep sterility of OPETH during the “growling” albums. The guitar work is exceptional in this song as well. “Zeal” has deep roots and somber elements that modulate with the addition of clean vocals and atmospheric passages. Though “Expired Kings” might be littered with a few too many pig squeals, it has nice combination of weighted aggressiveness and harmonies introduced by a guitar solo and ensuing clean vocals and acoustic guitars, which rise like a ray of sunlight through a thunderstorm.

Most know the mythos of the creature Medusa, who at one time was stunningly beautiful, even more than the Gods themselves, but was turned into to a hideous creature with a half-reptilian body and snakes for hair as a punishment by Athena, after her mate Poseidon raped her in Athena’s temple.  “Medusa” the song conjured up images of her beastly form and the desecration and profanity of her being, though commanding guitar riffs and Death Metal vocals that taunt you in a chanting rhythm. It is blasphemy personified in song. “Oceans” is quite the opposite. A nine-minute track, it opens with tranquility and majesty. Melody and clean vocals pour over you with warmth, until a groovy bass line welcomes the coming of Death growls and distorted guitars. When that blissful melody returns however, it reminds you of the endless chain that links the moon with the ocean tides; an interdependent relationship that transcends this world.

The outerworldly “Origin” closes the album. It’s a clear mountain lake in winter, a sunset in fall, wild blooming flowers in the spring, and a cool breeze on a care free summer day. Poignant and pretty at times, brooding and fibrous at others, it’s the perfect combination of feel-good melodies and hardened Metal to get your blood pumping. The album cover is an honest and deep reflection of the songs. You see the dark tranquility of the open waters, with grey skies looming. But in the forefront is a jellied ocean creature that looks like an alien from outer space. The blue entrails beneath the surface are a color so vividly beautiful it should not be allowed in nature. Instrumental prowess aside, which is beyond marvelous by the way, the songwriting is truly remarkable. It’s a gorgeous display of complexity and advanced sequencing where are no boundaries. The phrasing is unique and the well of creativity put into the compositions is overflowing. There is a lot to enjoy here and it leaves a lasting impression that you simply want more of.

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

4 Star Rating

1. Megalodon
2. Nightmare Gallery
3. Zeal
4. Expired Kings
5. Medusa
6. Oceans
7. Interglacial
8. Origin
Eric Baulenas – Vocals, Rhythm & Lead Guitars, Acoustic & Classical Guitars, Keyboards
Juanjo Martin – Rhythm Guitars & Backing Vocals
Raul Payan – Drums
Vic A Granell – Fretted & Fretless Electric Bass
Record Label: Listenable Records


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Edited 04 February 2023

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