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Lunocode: Celestial Harmonies
Lunocode Celestial Harmonies review

Lunocode: Celestial Harmonies

Melodic/Progressive Rock/Metal
3.5/5.0

Italy's Lunocode has been plugging away at their craft since 2004, when they were known as Anima. With the release of last year's EP Last Day on Earth, they changed their name to Lunocode. They have also hooked up with Spider Rock Promotion for the digital release of their first full-length release Celestial Harmonies. This album continues their exploration into melodic progressive rock with a sometimes metal side. It contains four songs, one of which (Heart of the World) is an acoustic version from the EP, and the opus, at nearly 30 minutes. The Origin of Matter and Life.

Lunocode Band Photo

Above, Lunocode: carefully standing upon the scorched earth.

You can hear some of the metal edge in the opening track Sin Cara, which passes as nominal, somewhat assertive, prog-power metal. Heart of the World is lighter fare and the lyrics speak to Lunocode's proclivity to strange and mystic philosophy. Indifference is the first to see the band becoming more expansive, more prog-ish, and so more interesting. It features a crafty guitar solo from Olaf Thorsen (Labyrinth, Vision Divine). Misty Visions of an Ordinary Day returns to the lighter motif.

What remains is the suite in six parts, The Origin of Matter and Life, where Lunocode advances itself in composition and musicianship. The piece is a concept work and that concept is somewhere between odd and vague: something to do with multiple universes of individuals supervised by a cosmic architect, the second monkey in space, Albert II, and so following, man's inhumanity to animals. Okay then. The music, however, supercedes the concept. The suite begins with a strong orchestral overture that sounds more symphonic than power metal bombastic. What follows from this is a fine exercise in prog rock with best material early. High and The Cosmic Architect delight in the simple and subtle movements between instruments and arrangement. But the highlight is the rock groove found within the very catchy The Tree of Life (despite the quirky philosophical meanderings of the lyrics)

Knocks to Lunocode's philosophical ideas aside, the power of this album is in their exceptional song composition and musicianship. The possible exception to this is Daphne Romano's vocal performance. Only in the quieter moments is she strong, clear, and understandable. Otherwise, in this mix, she seems to be fighting to rise above the music and be heard. Additionally, Lunocode does better when they don't ape traditional European power-prog metal as they do on the opening. To their credit, kudos to the band for the creative artwork in the booklet, which reminds of 70's psychedelic works. Here's hoping, since this is only a digital work, that this booklet will be included in the download.

Lunocode's Celestial Harmonies shows both the strength of creativity and future promise of a talented band in the melodic progressive rock genre. Here's hoping for bigger and greater music from them in the years to come. Check it out.






In Short

Lunocode's Celestial Harmonies shows both the strength of creativity and future promise of a talented band in the melodic progressive rock genre. Here's hoping for bigger and greater music from them in the years to come. Check it out.

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