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To the Stars: Myoora’s “Moon Grotto” Hones Prog’s Creative Edge

moon grotto

Heavy music from Australia never ceases to disappoint, with the nation boasting psych rock, stoner, and death metal scenes (among others) prolific enough to match their American counterparts. And although the cost of bandwidth may be infamously high nationwide, we have the Internet to thank for their contemporaneous and surprisingly cutting-edge output as it connects individuals who could have only dreamed of collaborating 30 years prior. Despite their incredible distance from the vast majority of Earth’s heavy metal hubs, Australian artists always seem to form some of the most remarkable international alliances.

One such case is Myoora, a brand-new instrumental duo from Sydney composed of two young guitarists named Daniel Nesci and Daniel Pinto, respectively aged 16 and 22. Citing outfits such as Polyphia, Monuments, and Plini as major influences on their songwriting, Myoora have begun to craft their own unique take on that specific niche of intricate melodic prog, straddling the line between rock and metal. After reaching out online to potential collaborators to help manifest their compositions, the group caught the attention of producer Jake Howsam Lowe (Plini, The Helix Nebula), who agreed to engineer the young group’s debut after witnessing their creativity and prodigious virtuosity. Graced with the incredible opportunity of working with one of the individuals behind their biggest stylistic inspiration, the duo thus began to record their first EP Moon Grotto. Stream it in its entirety below.

Comprised of three unique tracks, Moon Grotto embodies the duo’s re-organization of choice elements borrowed from their most prominent influences, with healthy doses of djent riffs, digital synthesizers, and futuristic atmosphere. Opening track “Divulge” begins steeped in shimmering ambiance, with Lowe’s programmed percussion incorporating chimes, bells, and other bright tones to ring in the EP. “Divulge” strides forth at an even-keeled pace, revolving around a triumphant power-prog riff undergirded by ambient synth chords that become progressively more layered as the song progresses.

Though the majority of the EP strikes a similarly serene yet determined ambiance, its second track “Asphalt and Absolution” is a much heavier exception to this framework, built around rapid-fire, double-bass heavy percussion and unconventional instrumental rhythmic patterns. This second track highlights Myoora’s djent influences more so than the first or third, with a punchy palm-muted riff that chugs into a sweeping cosmic solo, showcasing a more mathematical side to the group. All of the guitar solos on this release are in fact equally grandiose, each with its own distinctly gorgeous timbre and progressive harmonizations. In the last minute of the title track, an especially dexterous and electrifying solo explodes from the fingers of guest musician Stephen Taranto of The Helix Nebula as he aids the group in further cementing their central focus on superb performances and ironclad musicianship. These final moments are some of the EP’s most compelling, and leave the listener voracious for more material.

With the Moon Grotto EP, Myoora have undoubtedly put their best foot forward in reimagining the specific styles of music that motivated them toward creative endeavors. Benefiting from the relative sparsity of their niche of instrumental prog (which largely stems from its demanding standards of musicianship) they have crafted a thoroughly fascinating and novel entry into the subgenre, an irrefutably robust debut that might establish the newcomers as players in the contemporary metal landscape.

The Moon Grotto EP releases tomorrow. Follow the band on Facebook.

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