Album Review: Lunar – Theogony

Lunar - Theogony

Rarely does there come a band like Sacramento’s Lunar. Lunar present a certain sound and atmosphere that always create a cause for conversation within the rock community, good or bad. This project by drummer Alex Bosson and guitarist Ryan Erwin seem to follow the formula better than most, of course creating the frightening metal/soothing prog combo that a fan or detractor can smell a mile away. In essence, they may be the ultimate definition of “love ‘em or hate ‘em” in the realms of metal.

The riffs on Theogony, which is based on the story of the Nine Muses of Greek Mythology, are titanic, the melodies seamless, the vocals heavenly (and scary), and the rhythm section explosive. Basically, imagine if your favorite artist was making an immense mural of the best moments in your musical life; then, somehow, he uses a form of magic to let you step inside and see for yourself.

We start with “Thalia,” one of many great moments on Theogony. A dissonant chord fades in and introduces the first riff… a massive, pounding, intensely atonal chord progression that really digs into your core. Chandler Mogel‘s vocals, while guttural and raging as it later displays, are also very cold and bone chilling. The sheets of guitar distortion offer a very vivid backdrop of the same effectively hollow atmosphere that haunts this album’s duration. “Clio” rings all the bells right from the beginning with guest guitarist Angel Vivaldi adding some of his magic with a solo that’s absolutely mind-bending, showing that a guitarist doesn’t need to show off to get the point across. The acoustic section in the middle is also bone-chilling, but for a different reason. It’s remarkable how effective such a simplistic guitar melody is when paired up with vocals thrown in, and nothing feels contrived whatsoever.

Even with such two opening tracks, the rest of the songs never disappoint either. “Calliope” lends its hand with a dark semi-acoustic beginning which develops further as the song comes to its completion. “Polyhymnia” retains the dark, atmospheric vibe, hellishly crawling across the eardrums. The acoustic passage opens “Euterpe”; it’s stunning and well-placed as a nice respite from the musical war taking place. Its peaceful start gives the listener some good ear-room with nice, almost folk / jazz, melodies.  But with a song that is almost 12 minutes in legth, it can be expected that all hell breaks loose, and that imminent crushing riff happens at 2:40, morphing into heavy (but emotional) interlude where the growls return in very nice form.

One thing that never ceases to amaze me is how well Lunar combine multiple styles together here without sounding disjointed in any way. Take “Urania” for instance; the song features many sections of repetition, but they’re complimented by the extremely pleasant layers of instrumentation… It’s like a monolith that takes many listens to fully open up in full. Many of songs here are the same way as well.

The band members / performers on Theogony are no slouches at their instruments either. Mogel shows incredible diversity with his vocals. Alex Bosson gives a suitably percussive-yet-shifty tone that compliments each swift change in the music. Ryan Erwin holds his own very well style, and even throws in some nifty soloing of his own. Ryan Price is stunningly underrated on this record, giving the dark, swift basslines his own personal stamp of quality as his instrument weaves in and out of the other musical action.

All I can conclude with is this: This is a record that everyone must own. Every generation and every country should adore an album like this, as one like Theogony rarely makes itself known. If you like music and consider it art, this is a must.

Theogony is out on November 10th; order it here.

Tracklist:

1. Thalia
2. Clio
3. Calliope
4. Polyhymnia
5. Euterpe
6. Erato
7. Terpsichore
8. Urania
9. Melpomene

Links:

Bandcamp
Facebook
Moshpit PR

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