When I saw that EDU FALASCHI had a new album coming out, I leapt on it without looking – after all, his work with both ANGRA and ALMAH was amazing, and I expected the same high level of progressive and power metal that I had come to know and love from him. Boy, was I surprised when I popped it in for my first listen.
Moonlight (May 20 on Test Your Metal Records) isn’t a new power metal album – it’s a reimagining of some of the most classic ANGRA and ALMAH tracks in a softer style. It’s not just an acoustic album; these are nine tracks done with acoustic guitar, piano, and a bunch of different orchestral instruments, including violin, flute, saxophone, and percussion.
On first listen, it’s a bit strange. For the most part, these songs were written as fast-paced power metal anthems and hearing them slowed down and crooned takes a little getting used to, but when you get it, it’s amazing. No, they don’t have the indulgent guitar solos and layered harmonies, but they aren’t missed. He’s transformed the songs into an assortment of romantic ballads that you can just relax and enjoy, or to set the mood for a special evening at home.
One of my favorite ANGRA songs ever is “Nova Era”. After a couple of weeks with this album, I sometimes prefer the new version to the original recording – it’s that stunning. Similarly, tracks like “Bleeding Heart”, “Arising Thunder”, and “Rebirth” are given new life with these arrangements, and I can’t imagine any fan of Edu’s being disappointed with the results.
Is this for everyone? Probably not. The second half of the album didn’t really blow me away like the first half did, but it’s still very good as a whole. “Spread Your Fire” reworked as a jazzy number did nothing for me, but that’s personal taste. If you don’t enjoy ballads, you may not really enjoy this, but hey – who doesn’t love a good ballad? There’s also a ton of crossover appeal to the non-metal music lovers out there who may just be surprised that they’re actually enjoying some Brazilian metal classic.
Moonlight is definitely essential for fans of Edu Falaschi. I can strongly recommend picking this one up.
STANDOUT TRACKS: “Nova Era”, “Bleeding Heart”, “Arising Thunder”, “Rebirth”, “Angels And Demons”