WORDS: James Weaver
Sometimes, an artist will appear that completely changes the formula of heavy music. Whilst djent, technical death metal and progressive metal pushed the benchmark for technicality and well-structured musical adventures, bands have found their niche and through a barrage of similar sounding bands, alternative music is waiting for the next big thing. Along comes DANIMAL CANNON, a solo artist that boasts technical and complicated musicianship. The twist, it’s all processed through Gameboy, resulting in a sound that is both unique and bizarre. Now, he is ready to unleash his next opus, Lunaria. Is this record a game changer or does it suffer to it’s own innovations?
Opening proceedings is Axis, a mammoth of an opener standing at six and a half minutes. Purely instrumental the track features some slick guitar riffs, intricate melodies and intense breakdowns that hurl the listener to the world of 1980s video game soundtracks. And whilst it may be a bold opener, the track drags under it’s own experimentation. Not a great start.
Things start to pick up through title track Lunaria which boasts an opening featuring some of the heaviest riffs on the record. Despite processed through the minimal power of the Gameboy, the track boasts a somewhat powerful punch; adding somewhat needed weight to the record. In fact, it’s quite surprising that there is a large portion of melody throughout Lunaria, despite it’s retro processed sound. The opening of Collision Event is surprisingly melodic at first before unfolding into quirky lead guitar tones to accompany the backing music.
Indeed this is a record that boasts musical experimentation. There is no denying the talent of DANIMAL CANNON whose knowledge of music translates well onto this project. Behemoth explodes into life with riffs that replicate the popular djent tone before hurtling chiptune sounds to the listener. It’s chaotic, frantic, and damn right confusing.
It’s hard to formulate an opinion on Lunaria. This is a record that is so profound in it’s delivery of sound that it’s difficult to process whether you enjoy it or not. Indeed there are moments that click with those who have an ear for the alternative. Surveillance is incredibly intoxicating, with consistent rhythm and slick vocals from the man himself. Yet the downfall of Lunaria is it’s statement of trying to be something so different from the norm. 8bit sound may of sounded good when video games were basic but in the modern age, this retro approach doesn’t transcend well. Lunaria is something truly unique and it should be commended on that, however this record is not one to be an instant addition to your library. It is a record that should be explored, albeit not too often.
Lunaria is set for release on March 11th via Ubiktune.