Lunarsea
Route Code Selector

Though released last year, Punishment 18 Records only just sent me this, and considering Italian metal has been pretty solid in 2009 (Destrage, Fleshgod Apocalypse, Disharmonia Mundi, Malfeitor, Fomento), I thought this decent release deserved some press.

I’ll tell you right now, Lunarsea’s second album is doing nothing remotely original in the melodic death metal field. It’s simply culling from obvious modern takes on the genre such as Soilwork, Arise, Nightrage, Scar Symmetry and such: deep gruff death metal vocals mixed with soaring clean croons, stout, crunchy riffs and svelte, catchy harmonies, a smattering of slightly futuristic synths all wrapped up in a tight, punchy production.

What gives Lunarsea a bit of an edge is songwriting and the ability to give a tried and true genre a nice shot of energy and variety. None of the songs scream ‘classic’ or truly elevate the band, but all 11 of then deliver a solid, enjoyable efforts that you can sit through without skipping or feeling like things repeat. Opener “Magnitude 9.6” sets the tone appropriately with a deft mix of all the previously mentioned elements. “Metamorphine” has a melodic black metal sheen with sweeping synths and initial blast beat before settling into a bouncy verse/chorus structure. The third track “In a Firmness Loop Day” (???) takes a bit of a step back with the albums most soupy, commercial track. “Ashen” hints at more of the same initially, but actually ends up one of the albums better tracks with some very nice riffage a catchy little chorus and nice epic ending. “Five Sided Platform Shape” keeps the high quality going as does “Find Me Crygonized”, making for a very solid mid album section.

Granted at almost 50 minutes long, Route Code Selector is a just a teeny bit too long for the genre but that being said the second to last track “Sulphurs Song, The Swan Died” with its somber mood, actually ends up being a real solid track, making closer “Subspace Transition” kind of redundant at this point in the album. Still, a pretty quality effort and band that die hard melodeath fans should definitely check out.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by E. Thomas
September 9th, 2009

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