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May 2002
Released: 2001, Wagram Music
Rating: 3.5/5
Reviewer: Rick

The metal world has split into so many sub-genres that it's hard to keep track. Every kind of metal must have a prefix, whether it be power, grind, groove, death, black, techno etc etc etc metal there has to be a tag. Well, I have something a bit out of the ordinary. Here is a band that plays metal. Not power metal, not thrash, just metal. If that isn’t unique enough in this day and age add this... Moonstone are from France. If that isn’t enough add that they are fronted by a female. So we have a French female-fronted metal band. Ok, so much for prefixes--on to the music.

Moonstone were first formed in 1994 as the band Slacker. They changed their name to Moonstone in 1998 and released their self-titled debut CD in 2000. The lineup on this release consists of Paula Guittard (vocals), Isabelle Toussaint (bass), Miky Lee (drums) and Alex Sorokin (guitar).

“For Blood is Life” kicks off the disc with a double bass pounding track that immediately introduces us to vocalist Paula and her impassioned vocals. “Love Song For A Liar” is no less blazing but more traditional in its approach. “Sword In The Stone” opens with an almost folkish intro then kicks into an almost Primal Fear-like traditional metal ass kicking track full of dual guitar harmonies and shredding solos. Jacques proves that he knows his way around a fretboard and Paula reminds me of Betsy from American metal bashers Bitch. “Celtic Pride” struck me as a bit of a different sound for the band. This track sounds as if it would fit in perfectly on the awesome Riot disc INISHMORE from 1998. The only difference being that Riot dealt with Ireland while the lyrics to “Celtic Pride” revolve around Scotland and William Wallace. The Cd closes with the head thumper “Give Us Power.”

When I got this Cd in the mail I was surprised to find that the band had also sent me a rather large promo kit complete with a book full of Cd reviews and press clippings. Unfortunately, most of it was in French and I read very little so I muddled through the very little that I knew. One fault I do have with the disc is that the production is kind flat. With a proper production this Cd could have been superb. For an independent band overall it isn’t bad though and I expect better things in the future. I cannot find any fault with the music itself. It is heavy metal in the traditional vein. I have read reviewers who compare this band to Nightwish and Iron Maiden. They are not even close style wise. I would place them more in the vein of Riot or Armored Saint. If traditional metal is what you like then give Moonstone a spin.
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