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MOONLESS (Calling All Demons) LP/CD

I have become very picky about newer doom metal bands, but the debut album of Denmark's MOONLESS captured my heart in no time. These gnarly slabs of greasy riffage marry the vibe of early Black Sabbath and the attitude of mid-paced Buffalo (Australia's heavy hitters from the 1970's) with a blend of Maryland doom and traditional heavy metal. That is precisely why 'Calling All Demons' does not indulge in self-pity, but shows strength from the first to the last track.

In this context special credit must be given to vocalist Kenni Holmstad Petersen since his vocals drift away from the standards of the genre in favour of a gruff type of singing. His powerful pipes give a face to the songs, which doesn't mean, however, that Hasse Dalgaard's guitar playing is inadequate. His thick and loud guitar tone is perfect to rival the overwhelming onslaught of K.H. Petersen, and he has plenty of massive riffs up his sleeve, that is for sure. There are also some very nice guitar solos which guarantee the wanted variety.

Speaking of variety, fortunately MOONLESS do not try to be slower than the snails in your garden. Instead, they vary the tempo ranging from slower to mid-paced to fast. Especially these fast outbursts as for example in 'The Bastard In Me' give me that special kick. But in other respects, too, there's definitely enough dynamic within the six songs. It seems as if the band has put a lot of thought into their debut record, and even the production is delightfully dirty, yet meaty and muscular at the same time. Only the lyrics will lead to point deduction, as unfortunately MOONLESS has nothing better to do than to sing about demons and devils (*yawn*). Well no matter, the music is just too good and that is why I can overlook this. So, this is a great debut and I can only hope that MOONLESS remain with us for a long time.

(KK)

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