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ONCE IN A BLUE MOON - 92%

elmet, October 24th, 2009

In our never-ending search of unearthing good music no body knows how many worthless albums our ears have to endure. And compared to the brevity of life, the countless hours we spend in our search is just regrettable, but not if you discover an album like “Midday Moon”. As you well know then it’s worth all the pain that you take. It becomes your pearl in the oyster, the gold at the end of the rainbow. With pride and glory you feel like a fisherman that has been at the mercy of the waves for so long and is coming back from his long journey into the deep blue with his catch in his hand and a smile on his face.

This beautiful album that has been a frequent visitor to my CD player kicks off with “Royal Stranger”, which is one of the strongest tracks of the album and a great song to begin with. It starts with drums and bass that are immediately joined by keyboards setting the amazing atmosphere of the track that is lyrically telling a story of a man who leads a life of strings with no attachment. The next one is “Falconeye” which is another addictive and a truly magnificent track that attains remarkable heights of perfection. These first two tracks, which are alone enough to make you realize that you are in for something special, are only the prelude of greater glories to come.

With “In Anger” things falter a little and as you just start to wonder if it is yet another album with a couple of first good impression songs you are blessed with the title track “Midday Moon” that dispels your worries. It is another brilliant song that takes the level higher. But wait, the best is yet to come. After probably the weakest track of the album “Light ‘n’ Smoke”, in which still some remarkable qualities reside, the instrumental track “Raining Part 1” grants us a respite before we once again soar to even higher heights with a viciously infective chorus that springs to mind. This one is called “Already Known”. In my opinion it is a song that can easily eclipse the whole album. It is a song that will make me run out of superlatives so I’ll just let it go at that and only write the lines of one of the most beautiful choruses in metal : “I’m calling for the northern winds, I’m calling for the rising sun, I’m calling for moons, I’m calling for stars, I’m calling for you”. Looking at the lyrics you might think they lack the knock of writing good words but although being extremely simple, the way they are put into music is just as good as it gets. The following “Lost in the Thunder” has one of my favorite choruses that provide a perfect companionship while driving alone through the valleys of green and grey. “…No one cares who you really are…” the chorus is just so deeply touching that the heartfelt sympathy of the singer fully penetrates within my very being. For me an artistic work is the one that takes me to a place that I can not go to on my own and this one is definitely one of those pieces of work. I jus love it.

With “Hackneyed Dream” The things slow down for a while. The rest of the album doesn’t match the before mentioned material, except for the bonus track “Brontophobia”, which has an haunting chorus that will stick in your mind for days, but is still good enough to leave you with an expression of a paramount desire for more.

Usually every album has a few songs in which the instruments play one tune the vocal sings another and all the while some things sound out of place. Call it filler or a failure; you know it just doesn’t come out right. It is not very common to encounter an album that contains consistent material from beginning to end. Surprisingly this one is mostly consistent with very few rhymes without reason. It is more melodic than the works of many of their counterparts. There are no bad songs here, only some are better than the others. The songs vary in speed and intensity however, making the disc all the more interesting. The album as a whole, beginning with “Royal Stranger” ending with the bonus track “Brontophobia” and offering a lot of great moments in between, delivers grandiose power metal with several touches of early Chroming Rose and a little bit of latter Heavenly. But by no means has any plagiarism. No mistake about that. With this one you will definitely get more than you bargained for, for this is an album of an outstanding beauty standing with an ineffable loneliness in its own field against the wind and the rain, and album that can be found once in a blue moon.