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LUNAR

Progressive Metal • United States


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Lunar biography
Founded in Sacramento, USA in 2013

LUNAR is a Progressive Metal band from Sacramento, California and a project of drummer Alex BOSSON and guitarist Ryan ERWIN. They released a first EP "Provenance" in 2014. They spent two years and a half for their first full-length album "Theogony", a concept about the nine muses of Greek mythology. The band had the help of many guest musicians including guitarist Angle VIVALDI. They added Ryan PRICE on bass and Chandler MOGLER on vocals to complete their line-up. The music delivers some beautiful atmosphere exploring different layers of musical lines between Prog Metal and death metal that OPETH fans will enjoy.

rdtprog

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LUNAR discography


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LUNAR top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.50 | 2 ratings
Theogony
2017
3.95 | 3 ratings
Eidolon
2019

LUNAR Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

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0.00 | 0 ratings
Provenance
2014

LUNAR Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Eidolon by LUNAR album cover Studio Album, 2019
3.95 | 3 ratings

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Eidolon
Lunar Progressive Metal

Review by TCat
Special Collaborator Eclectic / Prog Metal / Heavy Prog Team

4 stars Lunar is a Progressive Metal band formed in Sacramento in 2013 by Alex Bosson (drummer) and Ryan Erwin (guitarist). After having trouble recruiting local talent to flesh out their band, they hired Danny Stevenson on keyboards and recorded their debut EP. After the EP was recorded, Danny left the band and after a worldwide recruiting effort, later added Ryan Price (bass) and Chandler Mogler (vocals) and then released a full length album in 2017 with this line up along with 17 guest musicians. After this, Erwin's untimely death left Bosson wondering what to do with the band at this point, but after being inspired by the tragedy, he started writing songs for another album. Then he hired his friend Balmore Lemus.

In November of 2019, the 2nd album was ready to be released. Called "Eidolon", this album is a concept album about the cycle of life and death. Following the same practice as on their 1st albums, 18 guest musicians contributed to the album. The album consists of 7 tracks that span a run-time of almost 54 minutes. Chandler Mogel handles lead vocals; Balmore Lemus is on guitars, Ryan Price on bass, and Alex Bosson on drums, percussion and synths.

Starting off with "Orbit" (3:07) we have a track that acts as an introduction to the album. Water and wind effects and solo piano start things off pensively. Soon, synth chords and strings (arranged and programmed by Austin Bentley) join in following a pattern of chords. The sound is a bit dark and unsettling with a feeling of loneliness present. This flows into "The Cycle Starts Again" (10:27) which starts off heavy, hard and fast, and moves into a killer bass riff and tapping drums, and the vocals start. The music becomes heavy as the guitar comes in interrupting any sense of easiness that you might have had, and then, after some vocals, a crazy guitar solo by Andrew Kingsley comes in between the verses. The beat is a bit tricky at times, but mostly follows a 8 / 8 pattern that shifts to a slower 4/4 meter later on. However, the guitar phrasing, which is quite awesome by the way, breaks up the meter to sound more complex. When the meter shifts, growling vocals by Brian Lewis comes in, and we will hear his growl at various times through the album. Lewis also provided growl vocals on the band's debut album on some tracks. Around 6 minutes, the music is made up of a single acoustic guitar and Chandler's clean vocals and this softer section continues on until almost 8 minutes, when a combination of growling and clean vocals bring the full metal sound back. Both vocalists take turns when the music gets heavier, and the vocal melody becomes more complex as a pounding rhythm and guitar push the track to it's ending.

"Surrender" (8:23) comes in with heavy guitar and slower drums playing a repeating riff, and Lewis returns immediately with growling vocals. Clean vocals come in before the 2nd minute. The clean vocals remind me of Dennis DeYoung from "Styx" but the music is much harder here. There are also some additional vocals added as support here giving more depth to the song. The sound is a bit more straightforward, but is still interesting. After a few verses, there is another guest, Ryan Bowe, that gives us a decent guitar solo, and the music intensifies and Lewis growls some more. I'm not a big fan of the growling vocals, but at least it doesn't overshadow the musicianship and the progressive passages, especially the great work that is coming up in the instrumental break. Also, the band doesn't just rely on the growls, it is used to the benefit of the concept of the album.

"Comfort" (7:42) moves away from the heaviness for a while with a strummed acoustic guitar and Chandler's more expressive vocals. There will be no more growling until the last track, even when the music becomes more intense. After a verse cycle, the band's guitarist plays a guitar solo that fills in needed time between verses. A 2nd guitar solo comes in after the 2nd verse and a tension-building bridge section, this time provided by Richard Hanshall from the band "Haken", coming in around the 5 and a half minute mark. "Potion" (5:52) fades in with a strummed guitar and steady drum beat, almost sounding like Pink Floyd's "Dogs", but quickly becoming it's own track as the vocals and bass come in. The track stays a bit mellow, yet with a great complexity that keeps it from sounding standard. Sometime within the 3rd minute, we are treated to a great acoustic guitar solo by the band's own bassist Ryan Price.

The last two tracks feature several guests. "Hypnotized" (6:05) has an electric violin solo from Ben Karas (Thank You Scientist), a keyboard solo from Diego Tejeida (Haken), and a guitar solo from Taylor Washington (Paladin). The track brings back the heaviness of the first 3 tracks of the album, and the music has plenty of complexity of progressive music. Chandler continues to provide impressive vocals that keep up with the rest of the talent from the band and the guests. At around 3 minutes, things calm down a bit, the vocals get more pensive, and the bass brings in the excellent violin solo from Karas, then it suddenly soars into the amazing soaring and roaring guitar and synth from Washington and Tejeida. This track is crazy, complex fun!

The last track "Your Long Awaited Void" (12:16) is set up to be the grand finale as it begins with a lonely harp solo by guest Katie Pachnos, which soon begins to flow into a slow beat. After 2 minutes, Chandler's vocals come in and a wandering bass comes out underneath. The harp and bass continue to provide a lush section. Famous prog flautist Theo Travis comes in with flute solo and that brings in female vocals by Mary Zimmer (White Empress) as she sings along with the slow moving and pensive music. All of this continues to surprise as a cello solo from Raphael Weinroth-Browne, a famous heavy metal cellist, comes in between verses. The lushness of the track is emphasized as Chandler's voice sings along with Zimmer's vocals. The harp comes back in and the music continues to flow along. At 8 minutes, there is a sudden tenseness brought in by the bass and things intensify quickly as heavy guitars take over and Brian Lewis' growing vocals suddenly explode over the speakers. More heavy riffage and after a while, Chandler's vocals take over again. A very unique sounding guitar solo by Scott Carstairs (Fallujah) comes in as he shows off an example of his own style, this is followed by more growling vocals, and the music intensifies to djent style drumming after more guitar work by Sam Vallen (Calligula's Horse). The music builds up to create a huge payoff, or at least it sounds like it, but it ends too suddenly after all of this build up, and we are left hanging, wondering why this didn't just go on for another 5 minutes, and give their guest guitarists some more time to show off. That is probably the biggest disappointment of the album, is the sudden and quick ending, after the track seemed to be taking it's time on the first 8 minutes, it just seems to try to pack in too much as the excitement for a grand finish is built up, but never really gives the satisfying ending it promises. Oh well, everything else was great on this track.

So, this is a pretty good album, one of the better progressive metal albums of the year, and, with a bit more work, could have been a 5 star affair. But it does tend to falter in a few places, and (at least in my opinion), utilizes the growling vocals too much in the first half of the album, and not enough in the 2nd half. Some of the guests get some prime time, while others tend to get cut short, but it all translates well in the overall picture, as even with all of the guests here, the music doesn't seem to be tailored for their solos, but instead, they flow along naturally. I would have liked to hear more from Theo Travis, Scott Carstairs and Sam Vallen however, and maybe the band could have utilized them more, or it is possible that they are used in the music even though they are not given the spotlight for very long, I'm not sure. Anyway, it is still a great effort from this band and hopefully we can see more development from them as time goes on. 4 stars.

Thanks to rdtprog for the artist addition.

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