ALBUM REVIEW: Moonlight Haze – Animus

MOONLIGHT HAZE have been around for a little while now and it’s only recently I have come across them. They are due to release their third studio album Animus and judging from the sounds of this work of art, it’s easy to see why they have been labelled uprising Symphonic Power Metal stars.

It wastes no time kicking off with beautiful belter The Nothing. The uplifting music does a fantastic job to uphold empowering lyrics such as “when you’re sinking in the swamps, don’t let sadness overcome”. Bands such as SIRENIA and NIGHTWISH come to mind when listening to this track. This is a solid opening track.

The press release was right to label this album as all-killer-no-filler as each track stands out in its own way. The songs contain meaningful and heartfelt messages that are communicated through thought-provoking lyrics and powerful music. It’s clear the band took great care and attention when creating this album as each song is put together with fantastic skill. Below are a few examples of what this looks like.

Kintsugi is a Japanese art of repairing broken pottery with lacquer dusted or mixed with powdered gold, silver or platinum. The philosophy behind this about embracing imperfections and seeing beauty in the incomplete, which this song embodies fantastically well. This song contains a stunning melody reminding me of starlight on a beautiful night and thought-provoking lyrics such as “It is unfair to pretend we are flawless, from time to time we all succumb to vice.

The title track was released as single a while ago and from the prowess this track displays, it’s easy to see why. Due to a similar sounding melody, LINKIN PARK’s What I’ve Done comes to mind at the start. It also demonstrates why we should stay vigilant and pay close attention to what’s going on with this record.

If you listen carefully to the lyrics in The Thief And The Moon, it looks into finding happiness within yourself. The lyric “real riches are truly the ones from inside, cause they are the only things no one can take away” really stuck out and one we can all learn from. The melody is enchanting and playful which is perfect for the lyrics in this track.

From the tribal drums at the beginning of Tonight to the free-spirited rhythms and melody, it’s best to be prepared for a few things when listening to this. Be prepared to feel the urge to conquer anything and to dance wherever you happen to be. If there was a song that perfectly captures the phrase “dance as if no one is watching”, it would be this one.

Horror & Thunder gives us one last blast of their brilliance before ending. Right up until the last track, they keep us on our toes to make sure we are paying attention. VISIONS OF ATLANTIS come to mind when listening to this stunning finale.

Animus is an incredible journey from start to finish, it flew by when listening to it and ended up wanting to go around again. MOONLIGHT HAZE have pulled out the stops and the proof is in this solid record.

Rating: 9/10

Words: Lotty Whittingham

Animus will be released 18th March 2022 via Scarlet Records.

Find MOONLIGHT HAZE on Facebook.

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