May 17, 2022

Moonlight Haze is a female fronted symphonic rock band from Northern Italy which was founded as recently as 2018 with Animus being the band’s third album to date. The group specialises in bombastic symphonic metal with a hint of power metal too and they hit the ground running with the solid and assured debut, De Rerum Natura, in 2019 which was rapidly followed by the equally appealing Lunaris in 2020.

The band still has all of the original members with Chiara Tricarico on vocals, the twin guitarists Marco Falanga and Alberto Melinato, Alessandro Jacobi on bass and Giulio Capone on drums. There are some beautiful keyboards moments on the album too but the provider is not mentioned which is rather strange as they do give the music a truly grand, epic and melodic feel. As usual, with two guitarists the music is very guitar driven with both Falanga and Melinato proving to be very capable axe-men. The riffing is furious and frenetic and the solos clean, sharp and blistering. Add the usual pounding bass and double bass drums to crank up the power and you have a perfect example of how moving symphonic metal can be.

For sure, the album is very melodic too which broadens its appeal and in Chiara Tricarico the band has a real star in the making. She has a wonderful presence with an incredible voice that ranges from the deep and guttural through clean rock vocals to a soaring soprano that simply takes your breath away; make a note of the name as she is surely destined for great things. The music is very melodic with plenty of hooks and vocal harmonies that temper the bombastic nature of the performances and could even possible lead to radio play should the schedulers be a little more enterprising in their considerations. Simone Mularoni, the DGM guitarist, has done a great job of mixing and mastering to give it a superb and crystal clear sound that allows the talent of the musicians to shine through.

There is so much to admire in this work with so many excellent musicians and the guitar is exemplary but it is Chiara Tricarico who commands your attention and most definitely makes Moonlight Haze a band that you need to be aware of. If you are into the usual symphonic bands like Battle Beast, Metalite, Epica and Nightwish then this is most definitely for you.

Animus

  1. The Nothing (3:59)
  2. It’s Insane (3:34)
  3. Kintsugi (4:11)
  4. Animus (3:41)
  5. The Thief and the Moon (3:28)
  6. Midnight Haze (3:53)
  7. Tonight (3:35)
  8. Never Say Never (4:26)
  9. We’ll Be Free (4:02)
  10. A Ritual of Fire (3:52)
  11. Horror Thunder (3:30)