Lunaris Cyclic

Self-professed "new wave Norwegian innovation” rockers, Lunaris, have definitely taken off to the outer limits of the metal realm. The space-age production is immediately recognisable as a feeble attempt at distinguishing themselves from the black pack. There’s a cleanliness in the tones that doesn’t lend itself well to dark, heavy music; although in a bad stereo it might make all the difference. It’s an interesting approach, but it kindles memories of electronic-oriented nu-metal. They’re in the same league as Cradle of Filth, with a touch more progressive power and the same easy listening black melodies. The "wealth of special guests” includes three past and present members of Testament whose contributions fade into a warped amalgamation of pop-metal. The vocals are mostly textbook growls spread onto keyboard mayhem and grinding tremolo. Throughout the second song, a Geddy Lee pseudo-operatic vocal monster wraps its greasy tendrils around epic riffs and endless successions of fret board harmony action. The next song is a return to black metal with the lunatics driving double bass hits into your subconscious and turning the reverb up to 11. It may be the lack of focus or the candy coated sound, but Cyclic doesn’t strike any pleasant chords. (Earache)