The Moon Effect

Written by: PP on 27/02/2010 19:14:48

Before spamming "CHECK MY BAND OUT AWESOME NEW SONG" became the advertising norm for attention-seeking scenester bands on Myspace and elsewhere where you are now bombarded with a dozen of such messages on a daily basis, you actually did check out some new bands based on the rare messages thinking along the lines of "wow, a band actually wrote to me on a social networking site". Back in 2006 someone from Cantabria, Spain based Wayne wrote to all of his 'musical neighbours' on Last.fm recommending his band, whom I found to be awesome enough for a recommendation here on Rockfreaks.net, and long story short, here we are with the band's sophomore album "The Moon Effect", a piercing experimental post-hardcore effort likely to appeal to audiences ranging from Tool to Norma Jean, which at first sounds weird but it'll make perfect sense once you check out the songs on the player below.

Most of the songs are progressive in nature (most songs surpass the five minute mark), featuring colossal soundscapes bringing into mind bands like envy and Elder but with the thought and intelligence of Tool lurking beneath the sound throughout. The guitars often borrow elements from light math rock and post rock bands in the form of slowed down scales and melodic leads, but have no problem descending into more metallic territory when appropriate. The songs are carefully constructed, often containing lengthy instrumental only passages, like the one in the nine minute mammoth "II" that brings Pelican-influenced guitars to the mix, but you also have aggro songs like "Till Death Do Us Part" which successfully renditions Since By Man / Norma Jean-esque guitars into a screamed favorite on the record....which brings me to my only real criticism of "The Moon Effect", the vocals. Clean vocals are used sparingly as most of the delivery is screamed output, and sadly the vocalist lacks enough character and charisma to make his piercing screams have a lasting effect on the listener. They sound odd and kinda monotone over the long run, but luckily they aren't the focal point of the band's sound given the aforementioned gearing on instrumental-only passages.

That's why it can be painful listening to something like "Commotio Cordis", a brilliant track utilizing beautiful melancholia in its atmosphere through extensive use of pedals and effects on the guitar, because the vocals just don't match up with the rest of the soundscape. In some places, the painful screams work quite well, but not often enough for me to retract that criticism. However, this is surely just a matter of personal preference, so if you're into bands like envy, do check out this Spanish bunch, because you won't regret it.


Download: Thin Line, Commotio Cordis
For the fans of: envy, Tool, Elder, Pelican (if they had vocals)
Listen: Myspace

Release date 01.12.2009
Elizabeth Dane Records

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