Lunar Shadow
Wish to Leave


3.4
great

Review

by Dewinged STAFF
April 2nd, 2021 | 19 replies


Release Date: 03/19/2021 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Gentle headbanging under the moonlight.

The new wave of British heavy metal never fully withdrew back to where it come from. The effects of the splash all over Europe still linger many years later, with a whole new generation trying to keep the scene alive and kicking while reliving those days as if time had stopped permanently on the age of tights and hair spray.

Germany has never hidden its love for the NWOBHM. They even took it to further limits, as it was the case for the reinvented Scorpions, during their successful trek through the 80s following after their prog phase, or the legendary Helloween, founders of heavy metal's caffeine-loaded cousin known as speed metal. Lunar Shadow is one of those bands that wouldn't mind to go back to those sweet times, the days when you would buy an album solely based on either the cover art, the hair length of the dudes on the back cover, or a song you heard on the radio purely by accident, and they have stated so through their music from the very beginning.

The Germans started their journey in 2017 with Far From Light, a prominent and highly acclaimed debut of carefully elaborated guitar harmonies, double bass drum mania and choruses worth reaching for the sky. The Smokeless Fires followed a couple of years later with exactly the same formula. It was even more aggressive, with blast beats and speedy riffs dragging the band into soft and gentle black and death metal territory while preserving their NWOBHM essence on top. This sophomore was clearly signaling that Lunar Shadow was a force to be reckoned with, while also being the wet dream of every time-stuck heavy metal revivalist.

Wish to Leave is the band's third affair and it immediately raises several questions. First of all, they somehow managed to get a thinner overall sound that I'm not sure it benefits the thunderstruck production of old. This album does sound weaker, but it's not the only thing that has mysteriously flattened out. Forget about those highly flammable riffs of The Smokeless Fires, you won't find them here. Lunar Shadow's latest release seems to drink from the nocturnal blood of darkwave and gothic post punk, after having extinguished almost all the fires that powered them in previous outings.

However, it is a nice touch, to be fair. The moog in opening "Sepents Die" along that strange, Carpathian main riff is strangely alluring, but it also indicates a substantial deviation from their original premise. "Delomelanicon" is great. A catchy, concise banger of early Iron Maiden twin guitar melodies and gloomy melodies reminiscent of bands like Tokyo Blade or Accept. Robert Röttig's vocals have also taken a significant hit on this record. While he drives "Delomelanicon" with his usual high-pitched vocals, he doesn't achieve the same effect or credibility in the following tracks. "I Will Lose You" is a poor attempt at reproducing the gold age of hard rock with a pretty forgettable chorus, although it incorporates the previously mentioned influences nicely... at times. "To Dusk and I Love You" dangerously enters bluesy ballad territory, which for this band should be a minefield at this point in the movie, and effectively, they manage to blow themselves up all the way til the end of the track.

The album's length is not as generous as past offerings either. With only 2 tracks left in the bag of tricks, Lunar Shadow has a chance of tilting Wish to Leave either way. "And Silence Screamed" doesn't provide much at this point, vocals sound indolent, absent, and the guitars, while delivering some nice flicks and solos, lack the punch and ambition of the band's older material. Closing the album is the 10-minute epic "The Darkness Between the Stars", a welcomed change of pace, with Zehner shifting gears on his drums with semi-blast beats, but his fellow members seem to be reluctant to follow until the clock ticks mid... minute 3, for old times' sake, with a brief but raging callback to the band’s first days. The second half of the track indulges itself in an overlong build up to questionable results, sending off Wish to Leave ironically with the same feeling that its title conveys.

Not the best outcome for Lunar Shadow, three albums in, and considering how high they had raised the bar in the last years. Wish to Leave might not be the holy grail of heavy metal revivals, but it does quench the thirst temporarily with an interesting blend of the glories of past ages and the vampiric kernel of bands like Tribulation, the adventurous soul of Hällas, and the spectral vibe of Ghost. Time will kindle these dim flames or extinguish their last embers, but that's a story for another day.




Recent reviews by this author
Sojourner PerennialBala Maleza
Zao The Crimson CorridorNicarus Coal People Coal Puppets
Gates Of Doom Aquileia Mater AeternaDvne Etemen Ænka
user ratings (17)
3.1
good


Comments:Add a Comment 
Dewinged
Staff Reviewer
April 2nd 2021


24531 Comments

Album Rating: 3.4

A week late but wanted to spend time with it cause I really wanting to like it but the more I listened to it the more its flaws started to surface.



Still, it's a good time for some good ol' heavy metal revival with a bit of gothic, and even post punk influence thrown into the mix.



BC: https://lunarshadow.bandcamp.com/album/wish-to-leave



Edit: Not one week late but almost two! yay!

Digging: Kajsa Lindgren - Momentary Harmony

Dewinged
Staff Reviewer
April 2nd 2021


24531 Comments

Album Rating: 3.4

I guess this won't go into the trending section.

TheNotrap
Staff Reviewer
April 2nd 2021


16177 Comments


I'm always ready to dive into some NWOBHM-ish jam ;)
Nice review, as always.

Digging: Helloween - Helloween

Dewinged
Staff Reviewer
April 2nd 2021


24531 Comments

Album Rating: 3.4

Thanks brother, definitely recommend checking the two before this to get the bigger picture.

WatchItExplode
April 2nd 2021


8888 Comments


Yep this sounds a bit thin and weak, with just a bit less of everything that made The Smokeless Fires great. There are still great guitar tracks, but not front to back like the last one. I hope they can elevate themselves for album #4. They really walk a fine line between derivative and fresh.

Digging: Islands - Islomania

Dewinged
Staff Reviewer
April 2nd 2021


24531 Comments

Album Rating: 3.4

It seems to be intentional though and I do like the gothic post punk parts a lot but they kinda lost the spark on this one, maybe trying to make it darker.

WatchItExplode
April 2nd 2021


8888 Comments


I'll keep the faith that they find the proper mix of styles next time around.

bloc
April 2nd 2021


65684 Comments


Nice album art; will check

Digging: Rochelle Jordan - Play With The Changes

manosg
Staff Reviewer
April 2nd 2021


12239 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0 | Sound Off

Nice one Dewi, as always!



The guitar playing on this is pretty good, but almost everything else puts me off. The curse of the third album strikes again!

Digging: Johnny Winter - 3rd Degree

Dewinged
Staff Reviewer
April 3rd 2021


24531 Comments

Album Rating: 3.4

Cheers manosg. I actually had it rated higher, then read your soundoff and went back to it several times and yeah, something didn't feel quite right.



The formula is great though, Tribulation went for it too, leaning towards death metal and they have perfected it. It's a matter of time, like Watch said, that these guys nail it too.

manosg
Staff Reviewer
April 3rd 2021


12239 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0 | Sound Off

Sorry to spoil it for you bud haha! But yeah, I think that these guys (or this guy, because iirc this is more of one-man show) can produce something much better in the future.

botb
April 3rd 2021


14568 Comments


This didn’t do much for me but great review!

rockarollacola
April 4th 2021


788 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Wasn't even aware this was a thing. I liked Smokeless Fires, so I'll probably give this a listen.

Dewinged
Staff Reviewer
April 4th 2021


24531 Comments

Album Rating: 3.4

Cheers botb!



There's a possible outcome of jamming this, and that is the 2 days I've been jamming Scorpions non stop

chewytapeworm
April 4th 2021


510 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I enjoyed this album. Even got some classic Eagles/Dire Straits vibes in a couple of the slower tracks. Night time driving music.

DungeonBoy
April 5th 2021


8238 Comments


Nice review dude! Wish the guitars weren't so weak in the mix because this thing is riff city and those babies deserve to shine more, fun stuff either way though.

rockarollacola
April 6th 2021


788 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

I wont lie, this did not reach my expectations. Last song rips hard, tho.

Dewinged
Staff Reviewer
April 6th 2021


24531 Comments

Album Rating: 3.4

"Eagles/Dire Straits" well, that's a comparison that didn't cross my mind.



"Last song rips hard, tho." It's the closest to the old stuff so makes sense.

bloc
April 7th 2021


65684 Comments


This sucks



You have to be logged in to post a comment. Login | Create a Profile





FAQ // STAFF & CONTRIBUTORS // SITE FORUM // CONTACT US

Bands: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z


Site Copyright 2005-2019 Sputnikmusic.com
All Album Reviews Displayed With Permission of Authors | Terms of Use | Privacy Policy