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Dan Swanö - Moontower CD (album) cover

MOONTOWER

Dan Swanö

 

Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

3.89 | 54 ratings

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riversdancing
4 stars This is the first and only soloalbum from the multi-instumentalist musical genius Dan Swanö, the man behind Edge of Sanity, Nightingale and Unicorn (Swe) among others. He also has numerous guest appearances on Katatonia, Star One or Bloodbath albums. "Moontower" is a mixture between death metal growls and heavy keyboards sound, kind of a bridge between his works, from death metal (Edge of Sanity) to prog rock (Unicorn).

Classic heavy metal riffs meet Swanö's great death growls and keyboard melodies from 70s prog rock acts (Kansas, Styx). The songs are riff-orientated and very catchy, the sound is clear and heavy. The heavy (over)using of keyboards really gives the music a bright and retro feeling in some songs. Not only plain sythesizer sound can be heard here, one can notice the Hammond-sound and even Mellotron in some places (if I am not mistaken). 'Add Reality' is one of the few songs where Dan also uses his dark wonderful clean voice. The whole album could have been slightly better if Dan used his clean vocals more often.

To define this album best, I'd describe it as being a combination of early Marillion, Rush and Nightingale ("The Closing Chronicles" album) mixed with the typical Swedish death metal sound. The last song "In Empty Phrases" contains even quotes from the Rush song "Dreamline" (we're only immortal for a limited time).

Highlights: Sun of the Night, Uncreation, Add Reality, The Big Sleep, but every song has its magic moments.

Recommended especially for Opeth fans (the connection is obvious, Dan was the producer on the first two Opeth albums) and open-minded prog metal fans. The rating is somewhere between 3 and 5 stars, depends on the age, musical taste and wde-ranging interest of the listener.

8/10

riversdancing | 4/5 |

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