Saturday, 10 December 2011

CD Review: Devoid, by Dark Lunacy (2000)

Metal meets its maker as Italy's Dark Lunacy meld the old with the new in a stunning achievement. Devoid, the band's full-length debut, features a string quartet seamlessly integrating with melodic death meal in a remarkable demonstration of the commonalities between the two genres, and conclusive evidence that metal is the closest spiritual descendant of the most noble form of music.

Dark Lunacy's sound is built on astute melodies, with delightfully complex arrangements and thematic variations within each track to bring out the full texture of instruments that suddenly sound intensely compatible. Two violins, a viola, and a cello from the basis of the guest musicians, while Laura Belli provides the female vocals. The classical music weaves in and out of the metal in mesmerizingly organic arrangements that seem as natural as a blossoming flower.

The highlights are many, but the stand-out tracks are often devastatingly excellent. Dolls sets the tone with the violins introducing the album with the simplest of themes before the drums come thundering in to announce an alluring marriage. Forlorn starts in the narrow back alleys of old Europe with the sounds of traditional folklore Russia filtering in, soon to be joined by a massive guitar riff. Frozen Memory is more than six minutes long, and the final three minutes are simply breathtaking symphonic metal that demands the volume at 11 and the spine at shiver.

December starts with howling winds across the icefields before exploding into the most nimble metal on the album, with frequent pace changes to recount a lost journey into the blowing snow. And late in the album Fall adds an exclamation mark with another seven minutes of soulful holding of the hands between diverse worlds, ending with a choir emanating from the most brooding of shrouded towers.

Devoid is a grand bridge between two cultures, a towering achievement that spans centuries.


Mike Lunacy - Vocals
Enomys - Guitar, Piano
Harpad - Bass
Baijkal - Drums

Songlist (ratings out of 10):

1. Dolls - 10 *see below*
2. Stalingrad - 8
3. Forlorn - 10
4. Frozen Memory - 10
5. Cold Embrace - 9
6. December - 10
7. Devoid - n/a (short instrumental)
8. Varen'Ka - 8
9. Time For Decay - 7
10. Fall - 10
11. Take My Cry - 7

Average: 8.90

Produced by Mike Lunacy and Enomys.
Engineered by Sighinolfi Simone. Recorded and mixed by Sihinolfi Simone and Ferrari Simone.

All Ace Black Blog Heavy Metal CD Reviews are here.

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