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Luna Mortis
The Absence

Company: Century Media
Release: 2009
Genre: Progressive
Reviewer: Raising Iron

  • Lacking identity to a degree, yet dynamic



  • Upon first listen to Luna Mortis' debut (formerly known as The Ottoman Empire, who incidentally had one full-length release as well), The Absence, the prevailing impression was to write them off as a Lacuna Coil clone or a pseudo-emo-core band, but after several repeated listens, there are certainly some strong songs to be found throughout, as well as lead guitars aplenty, and a good amount of depth to the songwriting. Oddly enough, Century Media found it necessary to put a "comparative advertising sticker" on the wrapper noting Opeth and At The Gates fans should/would dig this. It's odd as there are little similarities to those outfits.

    Regardless, it is a bit tough to classify their music, there are several verses containing growled vocals interpolated amongst the clean vocals of singer Mary Zimmer. She does sound a bit like Cristina Scabbia, and her range here resides in the area of tenor/soprano. When the riffs get going with the growls, there is an air of traditional melodic death metal, and maybe that's where the At The Gates comparison comes in. Musically speaking, they cover a lot of varied ground, hence progressive metal could be an appropriate characterization, but the songs here are distinctly focused, with no long instrumental meanderings. The real joy here is Brian Koenig's lead guitar playing, emphasizing melody and timely appearances. Highlights would have to be "Never Give In", with its catchy chorus and frequent dipping into the more aggressive riffing to be found on the album, and "Forever More", which recalls melodic European power metal the likes of Sonata Arctica, Conception, or mid-era Stratovarius.

    One concern could be the somewhat overall generic quality of the entire affair, the band sounding a lot like others, therefore lacking identity to a degree. Yet, this certainly is a dynamic effort, well thought out, and succinct. A worthy debut under their current moniker, this young band certainly has a lot of potential.


    Maximum Metal Rating Legend - Click for Full Details
    5 Excellent - Buy it and say a prayer to the metal gods that you were tuned on to this masterpiece. A classic.
    4-4.5 Great - Almost perfect records but there's probably a clunker or a lacking somewhere to keep it from perfection. You won't feel bad about dropping some bones on these.
    3.5 Good - Most of the record is good, but there may be some filler. This is the OK range where you'd search for the record on sale or used.
    3 Average - Some good songs, some bad ones at about a half/half ratio. Could show skills but be dull overall. Redeeming qualities for indy bands are effort and passion. Majors that don't try or suck outright end up here.
    2-2.5 Fair - Worth a listen, but best obtained by collectors. There is much better metal out there.
    1-1.5 Bad - Major problems with music, lyrics, production, etc.
    0 Terrible or an otherwise waste of your life and time.

    Note: Reviews are graded from 0-5, anything higher or not showing is from our old style. Scores, however, do not reveal the important features. The written review that accompanies the ratings is the best source of information regarding the music on our site. Reviewing is opinionated, not a qualitative science, so scores are personal to the reviewer and could reflect anything from being technically brilliant to gloriously cheesy fun.

    Demos and independent releases get some slack since the bands are often spent broke supporting themselves and trying to improve. Major releases usually have big financial backing, so they may be judged by a heavier hand. All scores can be eventually adjusted up or down by comparison of subsequent releases by the same band. We attempt to keep biases out of reviews and be advocates of the consumer without the undo influence of any band, label, management, promoter, etc.

    The best way to determine how much you may like certain music is to listen to it yourself.



    ALL FULL REVIEWS FOR: LUNA MORTIS
    CD
    TITLE BAND
    DOR
    REVIEWER DATE
    The AbsenceLuna Mortis
    2009
    Raising Iron3/27/2009


    ALL SUMMARY REVIEWS FOR: LUNA MORTIS

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