Sometimes short is sweet. EP are a great way to get into a band and see exactly what they are capable of without an album. I tend to not like singles from new bands because it’s next to impossible to really understand and appreciate a band’s sound in one three to six-minute song. What I need to properly gage and judge a band is at least two songs, three would be great with about fifteen to twenty minutes of playing time. From there it’s easy to understand the talents, abilities, and focus of each of the different elements. I think this is never more needed than when I’m listening to atmospheric black metal, probably my favorite black metal subgenre. Songs can vary wildly in terms of atmosphere, emotional tone, and subject matter so it’s important to get a good base. Moonglade’s debut offering “Gray Evening” hits the sweet spot with three songs with about fifteen minutes of play time.
Now when I was listening to the EP it was 3:30 in the morning and I had just woken up so keep that in mind for context here and there.
I liked the ambient nature of the EP, the first track is essentially a long intro to the EP. Ethereal piano keys with a heavy dose of atmospheric and cavernous echo was a great way to start, the production was clean but foggy so the music didn’t sound like it had a sharp edge. I would almost say it had a dungeon synth like feel but I think that comparison might be stretching it a little too far. The music definitely has an epic quality to it; a sort of stare out into the night sky and wonder at the vast darkness. For an EP and debut this is a good start. The guitars, drums, and vocals were all aligned well even if some of the technical musical proficiencies were a little off. The band has time to grow, time to explore and discover itself. At times it was depressive, at other times it was atmospheric. While it did both very well, I think Moonglade would be served better if they picked one and ran with it. The talent is there. The music is taken seriously, something I appreciate. Black metal can have an element of humor but when it comes the music itself, it deserves the utmost focus and respect.
I might be reaching when I start looking at the story that Gray Evening is trying to tell, or beginning to tell; Gray Evening feels like the opening chapter of an epic novel. It gives you hints of things and places without really giving any details, rather the EP makes you feel what the artist is feeling, feel what the characters in the story will feel without introducing any of them yet.
I look forward to hearing what Moonglade does next. They hooked me with Gray Evening, now I want to see what else they can do.
Listen and support!