Goth melancholy blended with modern rock and a bit of pop…
Brought to the day by NRT Records on 17 June 2016 and taken in the night by Stephen Brophy
You don’t hear of too many melodic rock bands coming out of Austria. In fact, off the top of my head, Cornerstone are the only other one that comes to mind, but here are Luna Rise with their album Dark Days And Bright Nights which mixes a number of Melodic Rock styles and traits with some almost Goth/Electronic musings. The album was completed over a year ago and is now being released through NRT Records.
At times it’s difficult to pinpoint exactly what direction the guys are trying to travel in. There’s certainly a hint of goth melancholy blended with modern rock, but which side wins out is irrelevant as their sound works. Yes, it’s definitely poppy in places and the band uses a number of effects throughout the album but that’s certainly not any sort of criticism as nothing sounds out of place. Along with a number of additional female vocalists to add to the harmonies and backing vocals scattered around the album, Chris Divine’s voice suits what they do perfectly.
Album highlights include ‘Silent Screams’, a very upbeat track that rolls along, has a tonne of tempo changes, is very catchy, lots of keyboards, guitar solos with a poppy delivery and a rock undercurrent. Another rocking track in ‘The Storm’, which gives Andy Earth the opportunity to cut loose a bit on guitar, but as with the rest of the album there is a balance struck with I.X.’s keys. I’m not quite sure if the balance works everywhere but certainly here, it’s almost like soloist is stepping forward into the spotlight.
There is the excellent ‘Until The Stars Have Come’ where the vocal duties are shared by Chris and Melanie Hirner (Dreieck), and their different vocal styles work so well together here. It’s certainly not a ballad but there is something slightly haunting or harrowing about it with keyboards overlaid on a punchy rock driven heart, Chris and Melanie almost trading blows while knitting the song together so tightly.
The album also includes an interesting cover of Ultravox’s ‘Dancing With Tears In My Eyes’ which is actually pretty good. While it stays true to the original, Luna Rise certainly put their own spin on things and the rock parts are elevated and the more electric parts are not just a direct copy, so the atmosphere generated is different. It works well.
Although I don’t think everything on the album works, there’s plenty of talent on show here and they have definitely found their own place. If you are a fan of bands like HIM or The Rasmus, then definitely check this one out. Looking forward to where they take their sound with the next album.
7 out of 10
- Demons Inside
- Dancing With Tears In My Eyes
- For A Reason
- The Secret In You
- Silent Screams
- Worshippin’ Shadows
- Until The Stars Have Come
- In Your Arms
- The Storm
- The Anthem Of The Night