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Walking a very thin line... - 83%

Kritik, December 3rd, 2014
Written based on this version: 2009, CD, Napalm Records

Lunatica had a strange evolution since their beginning. Their first two albums were good in their own right but haven't possess something different from another band in the grand category that is female fronted symphonic power metal. The change in a more uncommon sound will come with their third release.

What we got in this last full length, was a more power metal sound with symphonic arrangements. There were also many non epic kind of tracks. It was still quite joyful and the general technique used was in concordance with the power metal style. Also, female fronted band seems to rely almost always on some Gothic influence while Lunatica clearly departed with this influence on their third release. The only reason why I review this fourth CD is that with their last release, even if they have found their own sound in it, it seemed not so much learnt from the band members.

This "New Shores" isn't a revolution, but clearly the continuity of the departure from the other female fronted bands. This departure started already at the first song that feels more like the beginning of a journey of discoveries, while being told on an innocent level. This innocent approach is exactly why this band could please to a niche public. I seriously feel the joy the band tries to express in these songs and there are doing it, like in the third album, without the epicness or the darker tones the style is known for.

There's many surprises to be found in one spin here. The chorus of "The Incredibles" makes me think of Ayreon and their more than catchy chorus. Some other songs still have some epic feel on some of their passage, but the band clearly keeps the innocence present almost 80% of the time. There's equal use of sound sample, symphonic passage and electronic sample throughout the release to keep things fresh.

Lunatica seems minimalist in their approach in the genre, adding a sound only if it's completely useful. For example, I can cite the extremely moody acoustic guitar on "Farewell My Love" or the addition of the pipe instruments in "The Chosen Ones". The solos are another aspect where this band seems now to understand very well how to make it right, I let you discover them by yourself.

Lunatica doesn't have an excellent singer, but on this album, she has just exactly what the band needs. It's as if the band were addressing our children how much the tone is calm and serene also because of her. The minimalist approach just emphases how much the band care for us to ear every detail they care to implement. Everything is balanced and all these details are obviously easy to grasp.

So what about that thin line I was talking about in the title of this review. Well, if the content is in majority power metal with symphonic arrangements, it falls sometime into melodic rock n roll influence by Queen and some other songs in a strange kind of very detailed pop while not keeping the general quality present in the other songs. I also find that the majority of the songs could be completely unforgettable but they all miss something I can't clearly point out.

To summarize, Lunatica has found his own style and have now learned it well enough to put out a consistently pleasant release. The approach is not your typical female fronted symphonic power metal band, but clearly something much more calm and serene with little to no degree of epicness. Even the Gothic influence is sparse throughout the album. The sounds use in this album is quite wide and the possibilities for a next release seems impressive. The band is getting better and better by the time and I wouldn't be surprised if they are the next band to release an unforgettable full length next time they hit the shelves.