Galundo Tenvulance
Lunar Eclipture

When I heard Japan’s Imperial Circus Dead Decadence‘s 殯――死へ耽る想いは戮辱すら喰らい、彼方の生を愛する為に命を讃える――。 last year, it ended up being my second favorite album of the year. It was the utterly bonkers love child of Sigh, Cradle of Filth, and an anime soundtrack, and I thought I’d never hear anything quite like it ever again.

I was wrong.

Enter Countrymates Galundo Tenvulance (someone please help me with the band’s moniker- I can’t find any reference to what it might be? an anime reference I’m guessing?) and their killer debut album, Lunar Eclipture.

Though not quite as bat-shit bonkers and genre-crossing as ICDD (whose Ribyuhki provides the artwork here), Galundo stays pretty safely in the melodic death metal/ slightly metalcore/deathcore here and there realm, all be it very busy and elegantly energetic, full speed and with a massive symphonic presence.

Whereas ICDD was the love child of Sigh, Cradle of Filth, and Babymetal, with a more chaotic sound and more varied stylistic, ethnic elements and vocals,  Galundo is the love child of classic In Flames\Dark Tranquillity, Children of Bodom, and Fleshgod Apocalypse.

The keyboards are fully rooted in 90s classic melodic death/black metal akin to Skyfire,  Bodom and such, and speaking of Bodom, the dual guitars of Asukun and Dera are full-on Alexi Laiho worship, with solo and shred-filled songs that rarely take the foot off the pedal. And all of this is brought together to sound clear and punishing with the help of famed producer Zach Ohren (Light This City, All Shall Perish, Immolation, Exmortus, etc). And boy is it fun.

Right from the get-go “Red Raven” goes for the throat and pretty much sets the tone for the rest of the next short, sharp 9 songs ( and an outro), with a couple of exceptions. The speedy, borderline chaotic pace of the following tracks like “Crescharis”, standout “Lifeshaker” and “Leave This Nightmare” and “Solemn Oath” continually imbue classic Bodom with a modern slight metalcore/deathcore lean, and the excellent keys of Kenya Ueno (who also serve in a couple of unsinged symphonic and black metal bands).  The vocals are standard melo-death/metalcore growls and screams, with thankfully no clean vocals to ruin things (which the band dabbled with on past EPs and singles)

Now the pace can get a bit repetitive as the songs blast by, but Galundo does break things up just a little bit in the album midpoint with the likes of  “My Curse, Our Desire” or the excellent, more moody “Reminiscence Of Vanity”, which really leans into the 90s melo-death scene with a stern sway and really allows the keys to breathe even more, ns is a bit of a welcome break.

“Stake My Life” and other standouts “Jugulate”  and “Therefore I Am” brings back the urgency before the instrumental closer “Mystified Reiteration” ends the truly striking debut album (I forsee a deal with Cnetury Media/Nuclear Blast/Prosthetic in the near future), that like Imperial Circus Dead Decadence last year, came out of nowhere and will also be pretty high on my year-end list.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Erik T
September 5th, 2023

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