Lunar Shadow ‎– The Smokeless Fires LP (black)


Long awaited sophomore album from Lunar Shadow is finally here, featuring a new singer - Robert Röttig, as well as a fresh take on their music. The latest offering proves that the variety of styles and influences infused within their sound has widened and was properly refined over the years.

The band's sound is most often compared to Dissection, after the guitarist Max Birbaum described their own creations as "Dissection meets Manowar", yet, there's more to it. On the melodic side of things, you can hear some Crimson Glory and Fates Warning inspirations, while "Roses" takes a post-punk jog with heavier drumbeat that you could compare to Idle Hands. The Smokeless Fires is influenced by many genres - while most of the present compositions are based on speed metal, you'll hear a touch of black metal in insane blast beats and tremolo picking, folk metal in exquisite acoustic & piano parts and thrash metal in chugging, aggressive riffs. Everything mentioned finds its place in the whole piece and is tailored perfectly.

Another feat of this album is a superb songwriting. Max Birbaum, being the only one to write all songs on the album, is a fucking genius. While The Smokeless Fires is clearly guitar focused, each track has a natural flow, surprisingly lowering or increasing the tempo, changing styles, introducing new riffs and masterful transitions (most notably "Laurelindórenan" and "Hawk of the Hills"). The album is dynamic, mainly kept in a fast tempo, slowing down for the tracks "Roses" and "Pretend", then picking up again with power metal-esque introduction to Tolkien inspired "Laurelindórenan". The running time of 44 minutes with most songs kept in 6 - 7 minutes range is adequate to what the album has to offer. Holding a great variety of styles and technicalities, Lunar Shadow's second album easily keeps the listener hooked until the end.