Lunocode - Celestial Harmonies
Spider Rock Promotion
Progressive Rock
5 songs (57:18)
Release year: 2012
Spider Rock
Reviewed by Cory

Since listening to and reviewing their EP Last Day of the Earth earlier this year, I have eagerly anticipated Lunocode’s first true release. I love finding promising new bands, and despite a few flaws I perceived in that work the talent and quality were unmistakable, and so I was very pleased when Celestial Harmonies came up for grabs.

My first thought on listening to Celestial Harmonies is that Lunocode have undergone some serious growth. It was easy to peg them as a Progressive Power Metal outfit before, but now the lines have blurred as they incorporate more influences (particularly 70’s era Rock) into their work, and perhaps Progressive Rock is a more appropriate description at this point, though metal aspects certainly remain. Regardless of the label, I want to state outright that whatever changes were made during this time worked very well because Celestial Harmonies is a compelling effort worthy of your attention. Multiple aspects stand out, but I would first like to identify the wonderful melodies of Daphne Romana, whose voice was not present on The Last Day of the Earth. Though her range never extends to that of traditional metal vocalists such as Tarja, Liv Kristine, or Simone Simmons, Daphne constantly works within a comfortable Alto tone that conveys both passion and conviction in the music. Naturally credit for this should also be given to some quality songwriting, which creates dynamic atmospheres for the listener to fall into.

The album is comprised four lengthy tunes and one 30 minute monster. Opener Sin Cara starts things off with a Black Sabbath inspired riff that then shifts into a lead Ted Nugent himself would enjoy, before settling into a more traditional progressive romp with galloping drum work. Vocally, this is the least compelling of the tracks on display, though still a fine listen. Heart of the World is where Lunocode truly begin to shine, with a nice flute melody that transitions into Daphne’s best vocal performance on the album. The music here is simply sublime, with a perfect accompaniment of acoustic work and a rhythm section that is neither subdued nor overwhelming. Indifference, on the other hand, is a brooding work that carries itself like a storm waiting to break over the listener, yet it never truly does. Instead it moves along with enough to keep you tied to its 9 minute duration; however it never fulfills it's promise and I consider it the weakest track on the album. Yet just as I was beginning to wonder if Lunocode had gotten lost in their progressive wanderings, Misty Visions of an Ordinary Day delivers an outstanding performance. Simple in structure, yet deeper than you would expect, this is a track that is worth multiple repeats. Of particular note is the way this song just explodes towards the end, an excellent combination of lead guitar lines with Daphne’s vocals that is really a defining feature of this band.

The finishing touch on the album is a 29:34 minute epic entitled The Origin of Matter and Mind, and it is truly a mixed bag. On the one hand, I applaud Lunocode for such an undertaking because it shows creative freedom and a willingness to see their vision through. On the other, offering up a track this large on a debut album might have been a bit much due to the relatively short number of individual tracks on the album. The overall concept is fascinating, dealing with the creation of the universe and then expanding into philosophical ideals from there, but I think the flow of the music does not serve it best in a single track format, with various moments where it sounds as if one song ends and another begins, and breaking it down into individual songs with a common theme might have better served the purpose. That said these are minor complaints next to an overall interesting journey. Though I am not a fan of the nearly four minute orchestral opening, once we get into the meat of the song things become far more intriguing and we get back to the elements that have made the rest of the album such a good listen.

A few issues (all my opinion of course) aside, Lunocode have done very well on their debut album. The growth seen here leads me to believe even greater moments are in store for them in the future, and once again I will be waiting to find out what else they have to offer.

Killing Songs :
Heart of The World, Misty Visions of an Ordinary Day, and various moments of The Origin of Matter and Mind
Cory quoted 78 / 100
Other albums by Lunocode that we have reviewed:
Lunocode - Last Day of the Earth reviewed by Cory and quoted no quote
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