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From my removed perspective here, it seems like so-called epic heavy metal, that is to say traditional pre-thrash (read: no punk influence) metal with no shortage of pomp is having a little comeback. Sumerlands and Eternal Champion both turned way more heads last year than I would have expected.

Maybe Germany’s Lunar Shadow will join their ranks in 2017. Like Sumerlands, there’s a real emotional undercurrent to the band’s music. There’s something plaintive and wanting in the opening vocal bars of “Hadrian Carrying Stones”, even if it is a song about the Roman Emperor. Last year at MTV, David Turner said metal is “too earnestly weird, or weirdly earnest” to be cool. Lunar Shadow fall on the latter end of that spectrum.

Unlike Sumerlands, though, there’s no hint of glam on Lunar Shadow’s forthcoming first LP, Far From Light. These compositions run long, and switch tempo relatively often. The taste of progressive rock isn’t ever far on songs like “The Hour of Dying” or “Cimmeria”. These compositions offer plenty of room for guitarist Max “Savage” Birbaum to show off this range, from Maiden-ish gallops to sublime and folky interludes. Of course it’s on Cruz Del Sur, they’ve almost cornered the niche market on this kind of thing.

The band themselves hd this to say about the record:

"We wanted to search for something that is old and forgotten; something out of this world, desolate plains, wind-stirred meadows, a fire inside the ocean. We wanted to force our way onward with iron flails and trample those who oppose back into the dust of ages. 'Far From Light' is an album about death. And there is no hope in this album"

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Far From Light is out on 3/10 via Cruz Del Sur. Order it on CD and LP. Follow Lunar Shadow on Facebook.

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