Moonlight Agony - Echoes of a Nightmare
Nightmare Records
Power Metal
8 songs (43'23)
Release year: 2004
Moonlight Agony, Nightmare Records
Reviewed by Ben

Moonlight Agony has been receiving a fair share of press based on the fact that their singer, Chity Somapala is now the vocalist for the rising Power Metal group Firewind. I’m glad that this is the case as this can only lead more people to discover Moonlight Agony, who are more than a competent Melodic Metal act.

To sum it up, what we have here is forty three minutes of Melodic Power Metal. What sets this band apart from the already overcrowded pack however, are the great guitar riffs and the excellent keysmanship. There is not a song on the album that doesn’t have more than a few memorable and rousing guitar passages as well as inspiring and unique keyboard work. Icy Plains for example, is one monster of a song and I mean that in every way. Right from the beginning there is a machine gun fired riff that combines with a glorious sounding lick backed by chiming keyboards that by all means should make me laugh at its simplicity, however it is so passionately played and executed that I just let my feelings go and enjoy it. A vocal treat for the listeners is also thrown in with the soulful and emotional Carina Englund giving a few scant lines in the verses that really push the song into another level. Her work with her husband’s group Evergrey has already garnered her own fair share of followers and lending her talent to Moonlight Agony has only impressed me more. Whoever composed the vocal melodies in this piece must also be congratulated with writing some highly catchy yet non derivative bridge and chorus hooks, one listen to this and you’ll be singing “On Icy Plains we’ll walk… with blood stains on our hands.” More praise must be tossed in the way of Ceremony a speedy and enthralling number with its synthesized horns that bring to mind Dominion Day off of Virgin Steele’s opus Invictus. A very typical and triumphant sounding Power Metal tune, if it wasn’t for the talent involved or the high level of musicianship that bleeds out of the song then I would most likely disregard it but as it turns out this ended up being one of my favorite cuts. Note the theater style piano break a little over halfway through, this is a reoccurring theme throughout the album. I hear many parts that sound almost like they were written for the classical stage all throughout the disc which puts a different and unique edge on the Power Metal formula, without these moments the album would not have scored as high as it has.

Gus G. made a wise choice in choosing Chity to front Firewind, even if the main highlights from Echoes of a Nightmare come from the guitars and keyboards, he still has a great voice and an awesome set of pipes on him. Moonlight Agony is a band that I expect to hear a good deal more about in the future, on this album they have brought to the table their own sound which although is similar to more than a few Power Metal bands out there, doesn’t fall into generic obscurity.

Killing Songs :
Icy Plains, Ceremony, and Ghost
Ben quoted 77 / 100
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