Luna Mortis – The Absence

Reviewed: April 2009
Released: 2009, Century Media
Rating: 4.5/5
Reviewer: Mr. Rock

I have to admit that before receiving my copy of THE ABSENCE, I hadn’t heard of the Wisconsin band Luna Mortis. Now, however, after several listens, I wholeheartedly proclaim that I am a huge, huge fan. THE ABSENCE is a brilliant disc, and the band are outstanding!

With this disc, their full length debut, Luna Mortis successfully combine clean vocals with pissed-off hell-beast vocals in absolutely mesmerizing fashion. Vocalist Mary Zimmer is outstanding. Her performance, which you could say is a combination of the clean vocals of Cristina Scabbia (Lacuna Coil) mixed in with the nasty growl of Angela Gossow (Arch Enemy), without ever sounding like either. The performance shows her to be one of the best, most fierce vocalists in metal. Her clean vocals are warm and inviting, while the death vocals will send chills down your spine. She reminds me of a female Christian Älvestam (ex Scar Symmetry) in the way that she effortlessly combines both ends of the spectrum. It’s hard to believe both vocals are coming out of the same person.

As impressive as Mary is, the band itself is top notch. With some wonderful, soaring guitar heroics, to the monster riffs from hell, to solid as they come rhythm section, Luna Mortis is by no means a one person show.

The songwriting on THE ABSENCE is wonderfully brutal, yet oh so melodic. Compromising neither power nor technical prowess, the band have written some absolute gems that are paced brilliantly. For example, after the mid-tempo “This Departure”, the band knocks you down the crushing title track. You almost don’t see this coming as you are lulled into something of a trance during the melodic “This Departure”. To me, this shows that the band is paying attention to the little things. Make your listener feel one thing, then BAM, knock ‘em on their ass.

Seriously though, I really can’t believe that this is the band\’s first full length disc as they sound like a very seasoned band. I guess opening for the likes of Megadeth, Nevermore, and Dream Theater has been a really good schooling for the great rockers.

THE ABSENCE is an amazing album that has it all; wonderful performances, fabulous songwriting, and great production. Do yourself a favour and check it out… you won’t be disappointed.


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Track Listing:
1. “Ash”
2. “Ruin”
3. “Reformation”
4. “This Departure”
5. “Absence”
6. “Forever More”
7. “Never Give In”
8. “Phantoms”
9. “Last Defiance”
10. “Embrace the End”

Mary Zimmer – vocals
Brian Koenig – guitar
Cory Schneider – guitar
Jacob Bare – bass
Erik Madsen – drums