Thursday, September 16, 2010
Moonlit Wake Demo 2010
It looks as if I'm going to be the resident slamhead here at The Inarguable, which is fine and great but before I get started on that I thought I'd give you some easy listening.
This demo is currently Moonlit Wake of Linden, Virginia's only release and with four tracks that amount to nineteen minutes and thirteen seconds of sober music that sits on the fine fencepost between depressive black metal and neo-dream pop, it's definitely a good breather between several hours of slam death and several more hours of slam death. I'm fairly certain this is a home recording, which is to say nothing negative of the production given modern home studio technology. Everything comes throught the mix quite clearly and cohesively. There are no vocals.
The guitars have an enviable tone. The cleans are glassy but sometimes sound as if he's using too thick of strings, distorted tone is clear but dirty enough to get some angst across. The third track, "Nocturnal Comfort", is the first time I've observed a chorus efftect used tastefully on a metal release. The actual guitar lines are extremely melodic with occasional tight-knit harmonies; the best description I could give of the writing would be a band in the grey area between Alcest and Lifelover that foregoes some of the shoegaze influence for 90's pop punk and throws in a little instrumental guitar music
The bass guitar on this album is quite subdued in the mix, audible with headphones, but really adding little more than some lower frequencies in perfect harmony with the guitar and synth. A nice warm tone that almost sounds as if he's playing lightly with his thumb. The synth voices are tastefully chosen, but fulfill little more purpose than representing the higher harmony on this recording. The synth and bass fill the frequencies the guitars neglected or failed to reach.
There isn't much variation to the simple rock beats played by the drum machine on this release which really doesn't detract much, it just cause me to appreciate the more intricate patterns that occasionally come into play. The eponymous track uses a snare pattern with occasional cymbal accents that is actually fairly interesting and there are other little moments that catch the ear, but most of the time it's not adding much and exists only because...well you need drums, don't you?
Quite a few earworms dwell here, especially in the second track, "Twilight". In the two days since I first heard this material I've noticed it playing in the back of my mind quite a few times. This is a very pleasing recording, relaxing and bittersweet. I encourage you to explore it.
As with most likely all the material I'll be reviewing, this release is available for free download. It seems that he's planning to release it on CD-R soon if you're intent on paying him, but for now you'll have to settle for mp3s.