Dark Lunacy - _Forget-Me-Not_
(Independent, 2003)
by: Brian Meloon (9 out of 10)
Dark Lunacy is an Italian band, and this is their second independent full-length release. They describe themselves as "Dramatic Death Metal", and that seems fitting, though I recognize some elements of black metal in their music as well. Now before a lot of you stop reading, it's important to distinguish between "dramatic" and "theatrical" -- such as Cradle of Filth. The "drama" in Dark Lunacy's music comes not from cheesy shock tactics such as moaning "virgins" or "blasphemous" lyrics, but from their heavy use of violins to create a morose atmosphere. It is these violins that elevate Dark Lunacy from a very good melodic death metal band to something special. Brutal but beautiful, melodic and melancholic, this album captures the sad/angry mood better than any album I've ever heard. It's the same atmosphere that Mundanus Imperium and Sear Bliss were going after on their best efforts (their mCD and demo, respectively), but Dark Lunacy are even a step beyond those two bands. Their riffs are generally syncopated, thrashy melodic death riffs with shouted/screamed vocals and the aforementioned violins. They also add plenty of other elements, including black metal-inspired tremolo-picked guitar lines, acoustic guitar, piano and other keyboards, some whispered sections, and female vocals. All of the instruments are very well played and very appropriate to the music. There's nary a flashy or distracting moment to be found. If I have a complaint about this album, it's that the second half slows down somewhat. While it's still well-done, I much prefer the faster-tempo sections. I also wish they would expand upon their more black metal-ish style, as this seems a more conducive vehicle for the violins to play against. But these are relatively minor complaints; this album really blew me away, and I can't wait for their next release. Fans of melodic black or death metal should search this out.

Contact: http://www.darklunacy.com

(article published 25/5/2004)

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