Lunacy - Act One. Youth Manifesto
Sun & Moon Records
Post Metal
8 songs (38' 28")
Release year: 2017
Reviewed by Andy

Despite my deep appreciation of Sun & Moon Records' offerings, somehow I didn't get around to listening to Bielorussian duo Lunacy when their first LP came out a few years ago. With their second album, Act One. Youth Manifesto, I've corrected that omission, and now see what I missed out on. Like many of the albums in this label's catalog, Youth Manifesto is beautifully produced. Combining the darkness of black metal with post-metal stylings and a hint of folk, the shifts between harsh black metal and ethereal chords remind me Alcest, but with a wider variety to them.

The tracks are divided between soft female vocals, dark and quiet on the first track, but capable of belting out a solid tune on further tracks. The guitars get the majority of the mix, playing clipped two-and-three-string chords to clean vocals and a standard rock beat on the first two tracks, but they veer into black metal territory as soon as the beats speed up halfway through the appropriately-named Fast, Inspired. It abruptly changes from a female-fronted rock song that could theoretically make it onto a mainstream radio station to a flurry of speed-picking set to croaked male vocals, which thereafter perform duets with the original singer. This theme is continued on the even better Din and Whir, a fast but mostly clean song with undertones of the black metal showing up on the choruses.

The best of the Lunacy sound comes from their masterful use of clean picking; the drums themselves sound like they might be out of a machine, but the guitar riffs ring and echo through the songs, clearly the stars of the show. Heralds of the Storm is one of the most atmospheric of the bunch, but As a Fairytale is a close runner-up, with a hush to it that has even the harsh vocals restrained. The final track is a kind of outro in the form of piano, with none of the elements of the other songs.

The overall result is an album melodically pretty, but with an undercurrent of strange darkness to it -- not surprising for a band that claims Angelo Badalamenti as one of its influences. This is a good one for anyone who likes the darker varieties of post-metal.

Killing Songs :
Din and Whir, Heralds of the Storm
Andy quoted 83 / 100
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