And now for something completely different, Germany’s Lunar Shadow takes off in a new direction with Wish To Leave.
In 2015 Lunar Shadow released an EP, Triumphator, and it was off and running after that. Two long-players followed, the most recent being The Smokeless Fires in 2019. Their sound was a sort of Barbarian Metal: Power Metal overlaid on Black Metal espousing dark dreams. On the new one, they have veered off toward a broader musical appeal, lightening up the sound considerably while keeping many of the same lyrical themes intact. The band is Max Birbaum (guitar and vocals), Robert Röttig (vocals), Sven Hamacher (bass), Kay Hamacher (guitar), and Jörn Zehner (drums).
The album is six tracks of lurking discontent. Rooted in dark fantasy ideals and presented in an hard edged indie-rock shell with Black Metal decorations, the songs have a toned down feel to them, a sort of quiet shouting situation. “Serpents Die” is the perfect example of this. The digestible rhythm guitar and soft-edge lead work blend in perfectly with the vocals that offer an occasional glimpse of desperation and rage, but usually have a get-along timbre. This is certainly a choice, and setting this song up first in the set is a clear message.
The music follows suit throughout the album. “I Will Lose You” is a stand-out track for me for the exceptional lead guitar solo – indeed the solo guitar moments are something I started looking forward to with each successive song. “And Silenced Screamed” is one of the most raucous tracks, and it fires you up for the final track, “The Darkness Between The Stars.” This song runs ten minutes and it is a showcase for everything the band has become. I am not sure what long-time fans will think of this new album but, taken in isolation with no preconceptions, it is excellent. Recommended.
Wish To Leave comes out on Friday, March 19th and is available at the Bandcamp page or through the label directly.
Label store, https://www.cruzdelsurmusic.com/store/