Lunatica - New Shores
Napalm Records
Melodic Symphonic Metal
11 songs (50:08)
Release year: 2009
Napalm Records
Reviewed by Pete

It was a full-blown red alert when, turning over the picture of futuristic zeppelins that adorn Lunatica's new album New Shores, it stated 'Melodic Symphonic Metal'. Another female fronted band to be thrown onto the ever-growing pile of female fronted bands, each one sounding increasingly like Nightwish and Within Temptation. Lunatica were formed in 1998 and are four albums into their musical career so they're not exactly beginners at this type of music. But is there enough room for another band that sound like many others, a band that has souring female melodies, large soundscapes and a mix that pisses on the guitar player's chips?

The simple answer to the above is, yes. Yes there is room for another band of melodic symphonic metal. Actually, I'll rephrase that, yes, there is room for a GOOD melodic symphonic metal band and Lunatica are exactly that. This sort of metal and myself may not be the best of bedfellows but I like to think I know a good album when I hear one. New Shores, although not adding anything to its particular genre, is a solid and, at times, highly entertaining release that should appeal to any fan of the aforementioned bands.

The term 'metal' in this context is a very loose term because, as mentioned earlier, the guitars are almost mixed into oblivion to allow the keyboards to wash over the whole band. This production trick instantly turns the album to something that isn't very satisfying for your average metal fan that loves the sound of loud distorted guitars. If it wasn't for the quality of the first half of this disc I would've slung this out of my car and onto the embankment of the M6 long ago. Such songs as New Shores, Two Dreamers and The Incredibles are of top quality and class. The album peaks at the sublime Into The Dissonance, which is a song that has the potential to become a classic within this genre and good enough to be written by the mighty 'Coil' themselves (pre Karmacode of course).

The second half of New Shores doesn't have the same consistency as the first but it does have its moments. My Hardest Walk and The Day The Falcon Dies are the choice songs and Winds Of Heaven had generic piano ballad written all over it until the rest of the band came in. There isn't anything bad about the second half of this album there's just less that grabs the ear but this could be said for the vast majority of albums.

Vocalist Andrea Datwyler has a decent voice. She isn't Floor Jansen but she's not a Tara wannabe either. She does her job well and uses the clever melodies to full effect. The production is keyboard heavy as already hinted at but, if you consider Epica, Edenbridge and Leaves Eyes, it's true to type. It is also worth mentioning the positive vibe New Shores has. Whereas many lyrical themes within metal dwell on death, destruction, loss and other melancholic subjects, New Shores has a positive message. Ok, we maybe boiling the planet but we can fix it. Music can give you a lift and a new lease on life and so on. It makes quite a refreshing change from all the negative subject matter. Couple this with a genuine ear for song-writing and you have an album than can transcend genres and have a wider appeal. It's metal but it's metal that's wrapped in a duvet and has a smell of freshly baked bread. It may not be for everyone but there's something homely and comforting about the whole thing.

Killing Songs :
New Shores, Two Dreamers, The Incredibles, The Chosen Ones, Into The Dissonance
Pete quoted 85 / 100
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