Lunar Explosion – Lunar Explosion
Reviewed by Christopher Foley
If Lunar Explosion have anything going for itself, it’s heart. Which is just about the only thing I can really say about this release. Repeated spins have consistently left me cold, despite the band’s obvious fervor and spark for their genre. What’s most surprising is their place in the Scarlet Records roster, as the production is decidedly rough around the edges, with a distinct synthetic feel.
Hailing from Italy, I was expecting fare typical of the regional style, you know; sugary keyboards, speedy guitars and drums, maybe even a Fabio Lione guest spot. What Lunar Explosion present on their eponymous debut is a sound more akin to that of German power metal in its most accessible, standard form. Of course there are still some faster, double kicked elements typical of the Italian school, but the focus certainly leans further towards an atypical, meat and potatoes approach, as opposed to shooting for the stratosphere.
As I said in opening, Lunar Explosion certainly plays with fervor, and if the material was stronger the performances would likely come off as more endearing. The weakest link is, sadly, Raffaele Smaldone’s vocals. His tone is a little flat, and a lot of the vocal lines are a little off pitch which, when coupled with the fact the vocal lines aren’t all that exciting to begin with, makes for a relatively dull listening experience. There aren’t really any bells, whistles, or thrilling moments to help draw the listener in for repeated spins either. Although I guess “From Beyond” stands out amongst the other songs thanks to some nice riffs.
With a lot in the way of excellent power metal available in 2013, I feel Lunar Explosion will get lost amongst the shuffle. There’s only so far energy and flare can take a band if they don’t have the chops or songwriting skills to back it up then they’re going to fall flat. This isn’t horrible by any stretch of the imagination, but if Lunar Explosion is going to want to stand out amongst the crowd, then I’d suggest they hone their skills into writing stronger songs – the aforementioned “From Beyond” would be a good jumping off point. It’s crazy that a sound which, on the surface, is so accessible leaves little in the way of a lasting impression. Average at best.
2.5 // 5