Released: 2001, Pony Canyon Korea
Ah, good ‘ol melodic “symphonic” black metal. Reliable as hell this sub-genre is. Anytime you see one of these “evil” CDs in your local store, you know exactly what’s contained within. The only question is, is it good or not? Well, luckily for Moonshine, the answer to that question is a resounding “yes!”.
Led by main songwriter/guitarist/vocalist Amon, this band plays exactly what you’d expect from a Dimmu Borgir cover band. It just so happens to be a higher quality Dimmu Borgir cover band. After the obligatory “creepy” intro, “Ablaze (Let Me Burn)” gets the album off to a, err, roaring start. Speedy guitars shred alongside melodic keyboards, while Amon does his best Shagrath impression. Obviously, if you’re a Dimmu fan, you’ll love this.
In all fairness, I’d say that Moonshine is a far sight more melodic than their Norwegian heroes and also have a tad more traditional styled metal in their sound as well. Call it a power-metal influenced version of black metal. Based on this description alone you should know if Moonshine is going to be your idea of a good listen or not, but for further evidence I’ll point out the catchy “Burning Corpse” and keyboard driven goth-er “The Memorable Tide”. There’s nothing on this disc that is going to blow your mind with originality, and I do wonder about the continued viability of this style of copycatting, but overall, this is simply another enjoyable melodic black metal disc. Yeah, the true black metal crowd will despise it, and that’s fine, but anyone else who likes their harsh black metal tempered with the symphonic touch would do well to add this one to their collection.