Company: Dope Entertainment Release: 2008 Genre: Heavy Reviewer: Hail and Kill
A balanced album with universal appeal
It's sad, sad as guitarist Amon's breezy vocals, knowing that the greater part of humanity will miss Moonshine's third album. Why? Because these South Koreans have only played live once and barely anyone in the Western hemisphere know them. Nevertheless, for their latest, Moonshine execute a record so well put-together, so fluid in its composition, that it just flows inside your ears, stews in your brain, and lingers like a cherished memory. No flashy guitars or numbing blasts here (except for one song); from start to finish, "Eternal" is smooth as silk and cooler than fog. The band, consisting of the aforementioned Amon, drummer Giga, and bassist M, dish out flighty keyboards, whining guitar licks and sing-along pop choruses to your ears' delight if you dig this particular genre. Opener "Moonshine Madness" starts with a lonesome wolf's howl cut short by a bewitching melody that oozes from your speakers. On its more subdued counterpart, "(We) Die Cold," the first duet between Amon and she-singer Paranoid (yes, that's her name), the music explodes at the end of each nonchalant boy-girl verse. The band exudes well-bred class on "True Heart" and then turns 180 degrees for an extreme metal exercise titled "Isolation," which harnesses the intense stuff; snarling black metal screams, buzzing drums, and a thrash metal riff. Moonshine does have some bad in them after all.
"Dark Reception" easily makes the grade as the album's best cut. Soft piano notes set a perfect mood that's matched by a great hook and an LSS inducing chorus--it's irresistible. Just when you thought that the filler might come along past the halfway mark, "Chaos Lover" arrives and you can't help smiling at how seductive it gets. The aural cuddling continues up to "Dying In Beauty", whose chorus may go "You're gonna die/without her love," yet Amon's unique voice makes it sound like the sweetest endearment. On the next track, a few deep breaths work as the perfect sound bytes prior to the monster riff that begins "Breathless", Moonshine's sole venture into unbridled heavy metal. This is the song where worshippers of Megadeth, Judas Priest, and WASP are aurally gratified. Returning to their usual composed selves the moment it ends, Paranoid shares the spotlight once more and lends "No Name" its feminine touch. As good as it gets, this sparkling number would've made a hit single if the band were signed to a bigger label. Finishing with the instrumental "Regret" that has the usual pomp and flightiness for band's deeply entrenched in their melodic identities, the album still runs four songs deep as Moonshine revisit "Eternal's" better moments (namely "We Die Cold," "True Heart," "Dark Reception," and "Chaos Lover") in Korean, though they still retain some of the English choruses. Fans of Nightwish and other bands usually fronted by chicks will find "Eternal" an attractive release. This 2008, Moonshine have succeeded in creating a balanced album with universal appeal. Reason enough for it to deserve a place in your want list.
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