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Moonlight Haze ‘De Rerum Natura’ Review

Released By: Scarlet Records

Release Date: June 21st, 2019

Genre: Symphonic Power Metal

Links: https://www.facebook.com/Moonlighthazeband/

Line Up:

Chiara Tricarico – Vocals

Marco Falanga – Guitars

Alberto Melinato – Guitars

Alessandro Jacobi – Bass

Giulio Capone – Keyboards, Drums

Tracklist:

1. To the Moon and Back

2. Ad Astra

3. Odi Et Amo

4. The Butterfly Effect

5. Time

6. Dark Corners of Myself

7. A Restless Mind

8. Deceiver

9. A Shelter from the Storm

10. Goddess

It’s not much of a secret at this point, that Italian melodic metal band Temperance has become one of my favorite bands in the world, over the last few years. While they’ve continued strong and released an incredible new album last year, they did so without two of their original members, vocalist Chiara Tricarico and keyboardist/drummer Giulio Capone, who have since gone on to form their own new band, Moonlight Haze. The rest of the band’s lineup includes Elvenking bassist Alessandro Jacobi, former Overtures guitarist Marco Falanga and former Teodasia guitarist Albero Melinato, which adds up to be a pretty impressive group on paper. Well, if their full length debut, De Rerum Natura, is any indication, this is a group that has the potential to be something special in their own right, taking some familiar elements, but putting their own spin on things, to help make a very fun and memorable debut!

Fans of Temperance should be especially pleased with De Rerum Natura, as it does feel very familiar, with Giulio’s keyboards being as prominent as ever, and lending an epic symphonic backdrop to the music, while Chiara’s vocals are as strong as ever, if not even better than before, now that she’s given even more space to work with than she ever had with her former band, since she gets all the spotlight this time, aside from a couple of guest appearances, which I’ll get to later on in the review. For the most part, this album is Chiara’s chance to really show what she’s capable of, and she certainly does so, fully demonstrating her full vocal range, with some very light, beautiful vocals at times, some epic operatic vocals and deeper, more aggressive vocals, as well as her typically strong, powerful mid range vocals.

While Chiara stands out the most, the music is very good as well, with the keyboards and symphonic elements being the main focus, though there is some nice melodic guitar work, as well, along with some nice solos on some tracks. The biggest difference between this band and Temperance, is that the music tends to be a bit more focused. There’s still a lot of variety to the tracks, including a ballad, some faster tracks, some more mid paced tracks and a mini epic,but the overall sound feels a bit simplified, not trying to fit in as many different elements all at once, but instead going for more of a straight-forward symphonic power metal style, which works out quite well. There are some nice folk melodies on some tracks, as well, but for the most part, the songs fall into a modern symphonic power metal style, not terribly different from what Temperance has been doing, though the songs here feel a bit less complicated, but also more epic, with an increase in operatic vocals, symphonic elements, and a slight reduction in heavy guitar work (though that does still show up in short doses.) Performances are very strong, overall, with Chiara and Giulio obviously being the stars, though the remaining three members all do a great job, as well, and the production quality is excellent and fully polished.

Songwriting is quite varied, yet also very consistent, as every song is excellent in its own way. Kicking things off is “To the Moon and Back”, a fairly up tempo track, which starts off with some epic keyboards, before heavy guitars slowly kick in, and then the verses move along at a decent pace, with some nice rhythmic guitars and epic backdrops, and then the chorus is super fun and catchy, with Chiara showcasing some of her excellent operatic vocals. It’s a relatively fast, very fun opening track, which sets the bar pretty high. Next is early highlight and second single “Ad Astra”, After a nice, soft opening with beautiful vocals, the track quickly picks up, with some excellent melodic guitar work, more epic keys, and then the song moves along at a quick pace during the verses, which have some very powerful vocals, before moving onto an even faster paced, super addictive chorus, with some incredible vocal melodies and of course a strong vocal performance overall. There’s some epic choirs in the second half, and the final run through the chorus is somehow even better than the rest. Overall, it’s an excellent track, and probably my favorite on the entire album.

Slowing things down just a bit, “Odi Et Amo” opens up with some very beautiful strings and keyboard work, and moves along at a fairly slow pace early on, with some nice softer vocals, before the guitar work picks up midway through, and the song starts to get a bit heavier for a while, eventually leading to an epic, very melodic chorus, which is perhaps the best on the entire album, with an absolutely stunning vocal performance! The lead single for the album is “The Butterfly Effect”, a fairly light, slower paced keyboard driven track, which falls into more modern melodic metal territory, though it’s still an excellent track, with a particularly epic chorus, where both Chaira and the choir vocals sound fantastic, along with the always epic symphonic arrangements, and the second half has a very beautiful, technically proficient guitar solo. It’s a very fun track, overall, though it’s definitely one of the lighter tracks on the album.

On the exact opposite side of the spectrum, “Time” is the most explosive and exciting track on the album, with some heavier guitars, frantic tempos, and more notably, it’s the track with the two guest vocalists. First up is Laura Macri, who provides some incredible operatic vocals during a section in the middle, to go along with Chiara’s already excellent operatic vocals heard throughout the track. Joining her is MaYan bandmate Mark Jansen, who delivers some of his trademark epic growls towards the end of the chorus. The track is excellent, overall, and is another clear highlight. Next is the longest track on the album, “Dark Corridor’s of Myself” and it’s another clear winner. It starts out with some nice keyboard work and moves along at a relaxed pace for a while, with brief bursts of speed, before speeding up in the time for the chorus, and from there it keeps the momentum going, with plenty of speedier passages, a very fun chorus, some very powerful vocals from Chiara, and an excellent extended instrumental section in the second half. It’s still a fairly straight-forward track, overall, but it does have quite a lot going on, to keep things fresh throughout its near 9 minute run time, and it’s another excellent track, overall.

Moving towards the end, “A Restless Mind” is another speedy, fun symphonic power metal track, with a ton of excellent operatic vocals, giving way to a slow paced, but strong chorus. It’s one of the more traditional power metal tracks on the album, with the instrumental section in particular having a very classic Euro power metal feel to it, while obviously the symphonic elements are still very much present throughout. Next is a slower paced, lighter and more keyboard driven track in “Deceiver”, which has another very strong chorus, as well as some nice instrumental work in the second half. The lone ballad of the album is “A Shelter from the Storm”, which starts off as a very nice piano driven ballad, before the symphonic arrangements take over after a while. It’s a very epic, beautiful track, and serves as an excellent vocal showcase, while still having some beautiful instrumental work, as well, including an excellent guitar solo in the second half. It’s another great track, overall. Closing out the album is “Goddess”, a very speedy power metal track, with a slight use of folk elements throughout. It’s another more traditional power metal track, with some strong lead guitar work, frantic tempos, and a very speedy, fun chorus, with very powerful vocals. It’s a very fast, fun track and serves as an excellent way to end the album.

I was expecting great things from Moonlight Haze when I saw their lineup, and thankfully their debut, De Rerum Natura more than lives up to expectations, serving up some excellent symphonic power metal, with some slight modern twists. Fans of Temperance should have a good idea of what to expect, as many of the tracks do feel like a slightly dialed back, more focused take on that band’s sound, though there’s still a lot of variety to the songs, and the more symphonic direction works great, overall, so it’s an easy recommendation for any symphonic power metal fan, in general. Hopefully this ends up being a longtime band, because I can definitely seeing them making plenty of more amazing music, if they stay together!

Ratings: 9/10

Written by: Travis Green

My Global Mind – Staff Writer

Travis Green is a Canadian based writer for My Global Mind, with a particular passion for power metal, as well as an interest metal in all its forms.

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