My fucking day job forced me to be away from my computer most of yesterday. It was like a severing of the umbilical cord between fetal me and the mother web who gives me the sustenance of new metal, except no one slapped me on the ass to get me breathing on my own. This morning I was able to reconnect the umbilical and re-establish blood flow to my brain, although oxygen deprivation may have caused some brain damage. With me, it’s difficult to tell, because I come up with bad metaphors even at the best of times.
Anyway, I started catching up with metal news over the last 24 hours by browsing my Facebook news feed. I stopped when I came to a Listenable Records post about a band called Moonloop. I stopped because they are called Moonloop. How could I not check out music from a band named Moonloop?
It turns out that Moonloop are from Barcelona, Spain, and Listenable signed them last month for release of their second album Deeply From the Earth, which will come out in Europe on May 28 and in the U.S. sometime this summer. I found one of the songs from the album on Soundcloud. It’s called “Strombus”, and I dig it deeply.
Listenable says Moonloop’s music will appeal to fans of Gojira and Opeth. References to Gojira and Opeth in the description of other bands’ music are over-used (I’m certainly guilty of it myself), though in listening to “Strombus”, I can sort of see the connections. The structure of the song, the combining of harsh and clean vocals, and the incorporation of progressive musical elements could call Opeth to mind. And I suppose there’s a certain elephantine stomp in the guitar tuning and chord progression in parts of the song, along with the timbre of vocalist/guitarist Eric Baule’s voice and the environmentally themed lyrical focus, that could explain the Gojira reference. But as I heard other songs from the album, I also thought of Cynic and Obscura.
Regardless of which references might best capture the feel of the music, “Strombus” and the other two songs I found are definitely worth hearing.
I think of “Strombus” as proceeding in movements. The first movement is organized around that stomping riff, accented with a variety of lead guitar flourishes. It has a quirky, lurching quality that I found immediately intriguing.
The second movement (a brief one) shifts to a different, rapidly jabbing riff, supported by a pummeling drum attack.
The third movement brings a dramatic change — a slowing of the pace and a replacing of the death metal motif with a soft melody. Acoustic guitar and bass become prominent, and Baule shifts to clean vocals. This movement also features an extended electric guitar solo.
The fourth movement initially reprises the first one, that catchy opening riff reappearing as Baule starts to roar again. The music then takes off into an extended instrumental passage with fiery guitar soloing and pneumatic riffing and drumwork.
The final movement is perhaps the most Gojira-like, a lumbering, massively heavy crusher of a segment that pounds its way to the finish.
[soundcloud url=”http://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/23713330″ iframe=”true” /]
I found two more tracks from the album on Soundcloud — “Landscape”, which was uploaded just a few days ago, and “Legacy of Fear”, which has been on Soundcloud for the last 7 months (and therefore may not be around long, since Listenable may have different plans for releasing music in a ramp-up to the album release). I’m not going to dissect these songs as I did “Strombus”, but they’re both killer. I’ll just leave it at this:
Moonloop’s often surprising, progressive take on melodic death metal features a dynamic approach to song-writing, excellent performances from all band members, and a satisfying blend of brute heaviness, off-kilter rhythms, head-spinning guitar pyrotechnics, and quality vocals, both harsh and clean. You can find more info about Moonloop at their Facebook page.
Check out these next two songs and let us know what you think in the Comments.
[soundcloud url=”http://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/40495578″ iframe=”true” /]
“Legacy of Fear”
[soundcloud url=”http://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/22228672″ iframe=”true” /]