The Smokeless Fires
(Cruz Del Sur Music)

A very pleasant surprise since we cover mainly the more extreme genres and therefore I was expecting a Black Metal album. But with their second album LUNAR SHADOW from Germany lean more towards traditional Hard Rock / Heavy Metal. After a piano intro a melodic riff catches the listener, the pace speeds up and a whirlwind of melodies is swirling from the speakers. Regarding the technical aspect there is nothing which has not been there. From slow over mid-tempo to fast (no blast beats), riffs and solos, typical Heavy Metal. But what makes this output strong are two facts. First the quality of the riffs and melodies. They are catchy, highly recognizable and are able to evoke emotions which can be described with words like epic, imaginative and both cheerful and mournful. The only band that came to my mind was THE DEVIL’S BLOOD. Already after a few spins I felt like the seven tracks have been a part of my life for some years. Really outstanding. The way the different elements work together is simply perfect. There is merely no moment when I felt a rhythm change or solo is too much or something is missing. Interestingly the riffs and melodies could also work with the music of DISSECTION, NAGLFAR, UNANIMATED or the early works of IN FLAMES and DARK TRANQUILLITY. A very successful combination of melodic Death Metal and classic Hard Rock. The second fact is the extraordinary vocalist. Clean and expressive singing, every pitch is packed with emotions. Lyrically we have fantasy world (J.R.R. Tolkien, Conan) inspired lines but also very personal and intimate words. The only track I do not like is the piano ballad ‘Pretend’ – sorry, maybe I am too much a Metalhead to like such stuff. Although I must admit the song smoothly fits in the album. Do not miss the opportunity and check out an album which is breaking down established borders and visit or

Mirco Szymyslik

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