The post production embellishments to the root sound have resulted in a softer, poppy, pseudo-symphonic rock album in Lunatica
’s 2009 release “New Shores
”. As much of a creative genius producer Sascha Paeth is in his own right, when called upon to assist in the work of others sometimes the true source of the album’s identity becomes muddled. It becomes a question as to whether what you hear is still Lunatica
or the latest Paeth project.
Take “Into the Dissonance” for example. It is not only written and arranged by Paeth, but the main sound is a trippy vibe heavy with effects most unusual in comparison to the other tracks. Of the eleven songs on “New Shores
” three of them are ballads. “Farewell
My Love” features guest vocalist John Payne in a duet with Lunatica
’s female lead singer Andrea Datwyler. Great sound notwithstanding (there is a Latin acoustic guitar in the softer first half) this also isn’t typical. Finally, “How Did It Come To This” is another ballad that morphs into a more bombastic symphonic finish that in the process smothers the metallic soul of the guitar voice. To add, the taming of the beast is the prevalent feeling for most of the hard sections found in many of the songs despite how cool it may still be (“The Chosen
Ones” and “My Hardest Walk”) in its diminished role.
Still, the plethora of layers along with the high quality of sound production (again, two of Sascha Paeth’s greatest strengths) make for very interesting listening. Piano (“Two
Dreamers”) to keys, acoustic (“Heart
of a Lion
”) to electric, and percussion (“The Incredibles”) to rolling drums are but a few ranges expanded on “New Shores
”. Melodies sweep through refrains in perfect harmony with inspirational (if not sometimes preachy) lyrical content, including best song nominee “Heart
of a Lion
For metal fans, Lunatica
’s “New Shores
” is more candy than meat and potatoes in that it is very sweet to hear but if you crave a heavier, harder edge it will not satisfy your hunger. It is frustrating when you consider the rhythm section of Lunatica
how clearly they have the ability and vision to provide a greater metal sound. As it stands; however, “New Shores
” is an ambitious album with a far reaching range of musical variety both in sound and direction.