By Jonathan Smith
Wisconsin-based outfit Luna Mortis’ major label debut is not as “been there, done that” as its set-up initially suggests. The promotional material presents another female-fronted band in the vein of a group like more-recent Lacuna Coil, and to some extent in terms of their short by-the-numbers song structures and frequently empowering lyrical content, that’s what’s heard on the album. However, what’s more important is Luna Mortis’ personal strengths. Their sound is less angst-ridden gothic metal and more progressive metal with elements of melodic death metal thrown into the mix. Vocalist Mary Zimmer offers a forward one-woman clean singing performance that is not wispy or siren-like, and the moments where she unleashes some growls are welcome. Instrumentally there are familiar-sounding rhythm styles, and there’s enough guitar soloing here to keep aficionados happy even if the riffs do sound like they’re constructed like they were written with the various market expectations in mind. What the album offers is done pretty well, and tracks like “This Departure” and “Never Give In” are filled with catchy sections that suggest things to come. Especially well-suited to be part of a progressive/power metal tour (such as their upcoming dates with Edguy), Luna Mortis are predictable but nevertheless have some strong moments on this first Century Media outing.