DE RERUM NATURA
Release: 21st June 2019
Moonlight Haze is a symphonic power metal band founded in 2018 by Chiara Tricarico and Giulio Capone, both former members of the Italian modern metal band Temperance. The band soon grew into a group of talented and experienced musicians, of members who were from Elvenking, Sound Storm, Teodasia and Overtures, gathered together to write and perform powerful yet melodic metal songs with catchy choruses and folk elements that give them a very distinctive feel.
The band's debut album “De Rerum Natura” which is set to release on the 21st of June via Scarlet Records, features ten tracks where melody and power are intertwined to take you on a new and fresh journey as their songs blend the old fashioned melodic power metal with an innovating songwriting concept, which singularity lies in outstanding arrangements, from orchestral to jazz sections, that sometimes take also advantage of using folk and ethnic musical instruments. The unusual but original overall powerful sound is also due to the mastery of the mixing and mastering engineer, Simone Mularoni.
To the Moon and Back
Odi Et Amo
The Butterfly Effect
Dark Corners of Myself
A Restless Mind
A Shelter from the Storm
To make this album very special, very special guest makes an appearance; by Mark Jansen and Laura Macrì of MaYaN, Fabio Lethien Polo of Elvenking, Fang Yu on the Guzheng, and the bands own choir of talented singers; Nicoletta Rosellini of Kalladia, the band’s photographer Beatrice Demori, Francesco Pandolfo of the group Freevoices, Stefano Stex Sbrignadello of Final Rhapsody, and Christopher Parks.
“To the Moon and Back” is the album’s opening track, we enter with the strings taking off like a start of a movie soundtrack, giving us a nice whimsical opening of futuristic sounds. The band switches gears into fast power metal with the thunderous drum performance of Giulio Capone and his atmospheric keys of the piano adding depth to the band’s theme and the chugging guitar as we get into the first verse where Chiara's smooth voice comes in with the guitar who gives a nice rockin' rhythm to accompany the catchy vocal melodies. The backing track of strings underneath creates the song's build up to the next section which is the epic chorus line with the band’s own amazing choir, while Chiara leads the way with her beautiful high notes. After the chorus, we get an electrifying passionate guitar solo that energizes the song, shining through with beautiful melodies before recapping back to the chorus, until closing quietly closing with Chiara’s soft voice.
Following is “Ad Astra”, coming in full speed with jingling gamelan (by my guess), once again adding emphasis with their futuristic sounds and a build up of the “ahhing” choir creating a build up to prepare the listeners the band’s barrage of relentless drumming the soaring lead guitar solo. Chiara goes for a more rock expression as she harshens her voice in this track while the chugging rhythm guitar and the clashing drums creates a captivating beat, making your head bop and your foot stomp continues throughout the song until the bridge where the chorus gets their own line majestically with this victorious-fanfare singing as we get to many beautiful vocal harmonies between the choir and the frontwoman, making the ending very exciting. “Odi Et Amo” brings the guest violinist Fabio Lethien Polo of the pagan folk band Elvenking, who gives us a lovely introduction with a subtle solo in the industrial elements in the outstanding arrangements of symphonic orchestra which makes it sound like a space opera and the instrument such as the piano takes a classical approach as the crisp voice sings while Jacobi's bass adds some nice spunk.
The band’s first single “The Butterfly Effect” is what brought me to the discovery of band. The ticking clocking and the plucking strings creates a music box like melody, and the band takes the song goes more of a slower pace and formulaic as we get the metal part. In addition to instrumentation, we are introduced to the Chinese instrument, the Guzheng, which gives variety to the band’s overall sound with some oriental flare. Tough it may sound like a generic song, the chorus line definitely makes it up for it with it’s nice hooks and once again, the amazing choir. The song it a perfect starter to the band and easy listening to newcomers as it brings more focus to the vocals and lyrics. Similar to the way how Xandria first presented themselves with “Dreamkeeper” with new singer at the time Dianne Van Giersbergen.
Next song is “Time”, where it feature one of metal music’s favourite couple, Mark Jansen and Laura Macrì! The song kicks it up a notch, MaYaN style, with death metal guitar playing with bigger symphonic arrangements, but adding the band’s own flavor as we head to the midway we transition to Alessandro's funky bass playing in an ethereal atmosphere of string melodies. The big highlight of the track was the trio's vocal performance, the amazing chemistry of perfect pitch of Chiara’s sublime voice while Laura fills your ears with her colorful operatic voice, and of course the forced roar of the mighty Mark Jansen as he sharpens the track power metal edge. After that amazing tune, we get to the longest track of the album, “Dark Corners of Myself” when we hear combination of the band’s elements, with a folk intro with the performance of Fang Yu on the Guzheng who helps the band with a proper approach of eastern music which blends so beautifully with symphonic metal. The band's orchestral side serves as a calming bridge heading towards power metal with the harshened voice of Chiara, but also displays her own operatic prowess when the song majestically transitions to symphonic metal and some jazz at the middle of the song, a cinematic masterpiece and a crown jewel of the album that sums up the band’s sound. “A Restless Mind” speeds things up with the strings enough to bring attention again to the listeners and gives strong heavy guitars a loud introduction. The operatic voice frolics throughout the verse of progressive technicalities with it’s beautiful colors with the chugging guitar rhythms while her crystalline voice soars with the string arrangements. Melodic and groovy, the band didn’t planned on slowing down as the closer we get to the end of the album. “Deceiver” goes a bit of a darker approach at a mid-tempo pace. The tight-playing of these amazing musicians and the choirs foundations works as the icing of the cake to give some the uplifting undertones, a fantastic melodic theme and one earworm of a song.
“A Shelter from the Storm” is a beautiful ballad that displays the band’s softer side, driven by strings and steps away from their epic power metal. Still, an emotional powerful track as Tricarico voices makes a standout as the climatic chorus create that bombastic feel of symphonic metal music. The final track “Goddess” comes with amazing speed of the Guzheng once again taking the spotlight in the opening, then relentless drumming overpowers it taking the stage which was short-lived by the energizing guitar. The gnarl wirily bass adds that layer of heaviness and the pacing is incredible in this sonic experience of the catchy melodies and the beautiful choir harmonies that makes that overall makes this an epic conclusion to the band’s debut.
I can’t stress this enough that this is one of the absolute best releases of 2019 I listened to so far, the album is powerful as it is beautiful while the band gave it a 110% effort, and as the further I listen to the album, the more difficult it became to write down every moment the band did in the album. Though each song was 3-4 minutes long (except for track 6 and 9), they made sound a lot longer due to how much complex and amazing melodic melodies they created! If you like the speed of DragonForce, the beautiful symphonic arrangements like Nightwish, and with the modern/power twist of Amaranthe, Moonlight Haze will definitely satisfy you!
Chiara Tricarico – vocals
Giulio Capone – drums, keyboards
Marco Falanga – guitars
Alberto Melinato – guitars
Alessandro Jacobi – bass