MOONLIGHT HAZE – Animus (2022)
MOONLIGHT HAZE, the collective composed of by members from various groups throughout Italy such as Temperance, Elvenking, Sound Storm, Teodasia, and Overtures,are back with new album “Animus“.
‘Animus’ is a Latin word that has different meanings: vital force, conscience, soul, mind and courage. And that’s what we hear on these new 11 tracks; this is bombastic chest-thumping and hair-raising light sympho / pop metal familiar to Moonlight Haze’s past efforts, now more commercial and accessible like never before.
Getting off on the right foot with a glorious blend of metal energy, soaring vocals, powerful orchestration and more, ‘The Nothing’ is a top start. It’s then followed by the super catchy sound of ‘It’s Insane’ before ‘Kintsugi’ showcases a thrilling vein of prog brilliance running through a foot-tapping and head-banging metal rhythm.
The first three tracks everything you could hope for when you see the genre that Moonlight Haze sit in.
It’s more and more feel-good, powerful, melodic metal gold with the title track. Where, shockingly and briefly, the vocals get really throaty and nasty sounding. The ‘Thief and The Moon’, where thumping drums and spitting riffs act as the balance to the melodrama of the vocals. ‘Midnight Haze’, where a guitar solo makes a run of the mill symphonic metal effort sound so much grander.
Though it’s back to a much more bombastic listen with the cinematically tinged ‘Tonight’. A track that has all the lavishness of a band that is ten albums deep instead of just being on their third.
Spent? Moonlight Haze are far from done. ‘Never Say Never’ is the most ‘Nightwish-y’ sounding track on the album, and very catchy too. Whereas both ‘We’ll Be Free’ and ‘A Ritual of Fire’ are magnificent examples of just why so many people love and adore this type of sound.
”Animus” is an incredibly strong effort from Moonlight Haze and the kind of release that sends them soaring into the stratosphere of a genre dominated by a handful of bands. Need further proof? Just press play on the finale of ‘Horror & Thunder’ and marvel at just how animated this album is even at the very end.
01 – The Nothing
02 – It’s Insane
03 – Kintsugi
04 – Animus
05 – The Thief and the Moon
06 – Midnight Haze
07 – Tonight
08 – Never Say Never
09 – We’ll Be Free
10 – A Ritual of Fire
11 – Horror & Thunder
Chiara Tricarico – Vocals
Marco Falanga – Guitars
Alberto Melinato – Guitars
Alessandro Jacobi – Bass
Giulio Capone – Drums, Keyboards