Thursday, April 13, 2017

Sphera Lunae - Lunar Empire: The Gloomy Fable demo '98

Sphera Lunae was an obscure band from Italy formed in 1997 which only ever released one demo tape before splitting up. Their style is gothic black metal. I came across this band's metal archives page many months ago while studying Italian 90's scene and thought they seem interesting so I bought the tape.

This demo tape was released by Mexican label Witchcraft Records and it is pro-tape with beautiful big, thick, glossy layout. I quite like the cover artwork, it is definitely unusual.

The music is keyboard driven melodic/symphonic black/doom with gothic atmosphere and when listening to it for the first couple of times, I didn't like it because I found it to be too melodic for my taste. But now, when listening to it again for probably fifth or sixth time, it sounds better and more enjoyable, it just took me a while to get used to how melodic this is. The entire demo only lasts for 16 minutes which is kind of sad - if this band had more material, I'd probably end up liking them.
Each of the 4 songs lasts for ~4 minutes and each song is pretty good and interesting, but I think one part of the music which just makes me not enjoy it completely are the vocals. They aren't bad, just somehow too melodic and too boring.

Sphera Lunae's vocalist was also vocalist of another very melodic Italian band called Macbeth and I can't really say that much about Macbeth as I've only ever listened to their demo tape titled Nocturnal Embrace and Sphera Lunae's vocalist wasn't present on that demo, he joined later in 2000. My opinion about Macbeth's tape is that music is too melodic for my taste: very good music but bad vocals which I somehow just can't enjoy (and there are also female vocals on Macbeth's demo which makes me like it all even less). The style of Sphera Lunae's demo and Macbeth's first demo is pretty similar (Macbeth is even more melodic and gothic than Sphera Lunae) so if you enjoy this demo I'm sharing, check out Macbeth too. If I enjoyed the vocals, this would actually be pretty good.

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