About The Band:
There seems to be no end to artists that are new to me. I, like many reading this, think I am well up on bands and artists within the rock/metal/prog genres, yet every few weeks I hear a new name to me that makes my ears shoot up. This time it is Italian metal band Moon Reverie who were started eight years ago by guitar virtuoso Luca Poma. The sound is a mix of melodic metal merged with neo-classical (ala Yngwie Malmsteen) and straight hard rock.
On the album Luca also plays the bass, does backing vocals and keys as well as lyrics and arrangements. Also on the album are Manuel Togni on drums, Nicola Leonesio on keys and singer Luca Pozzi. The album contains 12 songs with the longest being the final track “Moon Reverie Suite” at over nine minutes and the shortest being the intro tune “Into Glory” at just over a minute.
The Songs Track By Track:
The opener as I said is a short baroque guitar workout with church sounding keys which may or may not run straight into the first actual song “Forgiveness” (my access to it online means playing it one song at a time). One of the things that has impressed me is that none of the songs become a wank fest. In this track there are little moments of eastern or Greek-style guitar playing in-between the main solos, there are one or two changes of pace and the song is rather good as well.
All the way through there are plenty of melodies, harmony vocals and stunning playing. “I Will Come For You” has lots of ’80s style keys and a hint of Dream Theater near the end. The sound on this (and throughout) is huge. They go almost into full AOR mode at times, one of those being “Say Forever” due to the big chorus and vocal harmonics but the solo is more theatrical, in fact almost pure theatre/stage musical at the start before dropping into a lovely melodic piece that could be part of the soundtrack to a movie. It is rather beautiful in fact.
Each track has something to enjoy, something a little different, sometimes it is just a small thing, for instance, the “lift me up” vocal line in “Eyes” sounds particularly refined and engaging. There is a lot of feeling in that vocal. The track on the whole borders on ’80s hair metal apart from the guitar solo. One of my favourite tracks is “In My Heart” an arm-waving, lighter aloft in the air rock ballad with a gorgeous melody. In this Luca shows considerable constraint by providing a very tasteful and melodic solo that blends well with the song.
Drummer Manuel is all over “The Raven”. Some of his fills are fantastic. This is almost full-on power metal with lots of guitar work around some thunderous drumming. This is possibly the heaviest, or at least the fastest song on the album. “First And Last” starts and ends with what sounds like flamenco-style acoustic guitar playing. They have composed in a way that the songs have plenty of melody. This one is no exception which means that those who could be scared of by “widdly widdly” guitar soloing need not be. Yes, some of the solos are classical based and wildly technical, but on the whole, it does not take away from the simplicity of good powerful melodic songs.
“On The Edge” is possibly Luca doing his best Ritchie Blackmore impression, that being Blackmore at his most playful sounding. The guitar work is joyous and feel good and the interplay with the keys is spot on. Strangely “Far Above” also made me think of Blackmore but on a song like “Rainbow Eyes” with Dio on vocals. The song is lovely, simple sounding, easy on the ear, vocal, acoustic guitar and some keys in the background. It stays that way for the whole song and is a nice change of pace and vibe. Lovely stuff.
“End Of Times” sounds cheerier than the title would suggest! It has a jaunty start before the riff comes in. There is a playfulness again in the music, it is what you could call a “swayer”. Inasmuch as live I can imagine the audience swaying from side to side with the melody. The last track is the 9-minute musical workout. “Moon Reverie Suite” is an excellent instrumental having an elegance about it. It has beauty, power and showmanship through it. The mix of both electric and acoustic guitar parts is superb. Luca’s playing on this shows so much skill in each department.
It has taken eight years from formation to the first album, but it is well worth the wait. Anyone who loves the ’80s neo-classical shredders, power metal and melodic rock should enjoy what is on offer here. Well-constructed with first-rate performances and most importantly something often forgotten by virtuoso guitarists, actual SONGS. Do yourself a favour and check the album out, it deserves to be heard.
Out on Rockshots Records Friday, January 31, 2020
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