Luna - Ashes To Ashes (CD)

symphonic funeral death / doom, Solitude Productions, Solitude Productions
350.00 Р
Price in points: 700 points
SP. 089-14 x
In stock
+
Solitude Productions presents a debut album by Luna which become a new discovery at the gloomy doom scene. Naturally combining doom death metal, funeral doom metal in the vein of Ea and gothic doom metal with stress to classical symphonic sound typical for Virgin Black the band Luna demonstrates 57-minutes-long suite, mostly instrumental. This album/composition could become a soundtrack to an epic movie with horror and fantasy elements; however, being missing a visual component it can recall visions leading to distant dark worlds of dreams and anxiety in a listener’s head. «Ashes To Ashes» states that a new competitor to Monolithe and Ea has appeared!

Tracklist:
1 Ashes To Ashes 56:51

Artist:
Luna
Artist Country:
Ukraine
Album Year:
2014
Title:
Ashes To Ashes
Style:
symphonic funeral death / doom
Format:
CD
Type:
CD Album
Package:
Jewel Case
Label:
Solitude Productions
Cat No:
SP. 089-14
Release Year:
2014
Barcode:
4 627080 610606
Country Of Manufacture:
Russia
Review
Doom-metal.com
7.5/10
06.11.2014

The seemingly endless supply of new Extreme Doom bands and projects from Eastern Europe never ceases to amaze. One of the more promising newcomers is Luna, the one-man project of DeMort (whom some may know from the Ukrainian Death Doom outfit Amily). The debut album Ashes to Ashes, consisting of only one long track, is out on – who guessed it? – Solitude Productions. Do not let the seemingly uninspired title fool you: while DeMort certainly does not reinvent the wheel here, his work is worth more than just a passing listen, in a sense reducing Doom to its essentials and thus justifying the use of a very traditional title. After all, the religious phrase “ashes to ashes, dust to dust” does epitomise the notions of mortality, transience and mourning which are central to Doom aesthetics.

The music on Luna’s first output is an atmospheric mixture of Death Doom and Funeral Doom. Its minimalism and extensive use of repetitions place it somewhat closer to the latter, but some of the riffs (especially early in the track) are too dynamic and fast to qualify as ‘proper’ Funeral Doom, especially in combination with the occasional doublebass drumming. Synthesizers are omnipresent, but put to very tasteful use throughout the album. They play a more prominent role than the lead guitars, which only appear every now and then and usually play in unison with the keyboards. Other than that, the guitar work consists of basic power chords almost exclusively, sometimes with palm-muted rhythmic variations, but mostly as straight as you would expect them to be from puristic Funeral Doom acts. In the slower sections, the simplistic synthesised strings and guitar chords sound a lot like Reclusiam or The Howling Void while in other places, a dark piano line reminiscent of Ea forms the binding thread throughout many minutes of variations on the same riff and chord progression. This way, the music flows very naturally and seems deceptively simple while, in fact, it is constantly developing on an intricate level. The arrangements, thus, are very well thought out.

So far, the above descriptions have not hinted at anything particularly unusual or original about this album, and it is true, this sort of style has been heard many times before, both from Eastern European bands and their earlier Finnish paragons (Shape of Despair or Colosseum come to mind), although – as is the case with many other Ukrainian or Russian bands – the atmosphere is less melancholic in direct comparison. However, there are two things which make Ashes to Ashes interesting despite its derivative approach. Firstly, it impresses with its sheer quality. The atmosphere works exceptionally well throughout and, as mentioned at the outset, captures the essence of Doom. Of course, the material also benefits greatly from the professional production that we have come to expect from Solitude, even though the highly polished sound will probably fail to please lovers of the rawer type of Funeral Doom. Secondly and more importantly, though, there are no vocals on the entire album (apart from a short distorted sample around the 34-minute mark)! Instrumental Doom is a rarity even today, and some listeners will have a hard time getting used to it, but at the end of the day, it works. I would even go so far as to say that I do not miss anything. To me, this album serves well to illustrate the extreme limitations of the formulaic growling employed by most bands: in many cases, it fails to convey more than just a very slim emotional palette, and eventually fails to add much substance to the music. Whether the absence of vocals for Luna was a conscious choice or the result of limitations, I cannot say, but it ultimately helps saving the release from being forgettable.

Still, there is little variation considering the album length, especially since the style does not allow for any particularly interesting focal points that stand out and capture the listener’s attention. Towards the last third, the thoughts tend to stray and the atmosphere starts to grow a bit stale, making you long for new nuances. Since Ashes to Ashes is a debut, though, this can not only be forgiven, but even be seen as a good thing: there is still room for improvement, and the great potential we can hear on this album makes me wonder what future Luna releases may have in store for us. In all, this project deserves the attention of any lover of the above-mentioned bands – just do not expect to be overwhelmed by an abundance of fresh ideas.

Author: Dominik Sonders
Review
Metal.de
6/10
05.07.2014

Ein Mann, ein Konzept, ein Song. Die kämpfen nicht gegen das Unrecht, sondern bringen knapp eine Stunde lang ordentlich schwere Düsternis über das Land. Damit ist eigentlich fast alles gesagt, was den Hintergrund zu "Ashes To Ashes" von LUNA angeht - aber damit wollen wir es natürlich nicht belassen: LUNA ist ein Ein-Mann Projekt aus der Ukraine, das über die Death Doom-Spezialisten von Solitude Records nun das erste Lebenszeichen abgibt.

Und dieses Lebenszeichen kann sich durchaus hören lassen. So beackert man ein musikalisches Feld, das eine Mischung zwischen Neo-Klassik, Weltuntergangssoundtrack und Death Doom darstellt und sich selbst als Symphonic Funeral Doom Death bezeichnet. Wobei die Death-Komponente derartig zurück gefahren ist, dass der gesamte Auftritt auf "Ashes To Ashes" eigentlich auch fast ohne die markanten, schweren Gitarren auskäme, die streckenweise zum Einsatz kommen: Denn was LUNA vortragen, ist in erster Linie symphonisch und langsam. Damit lassen sich Vergleiche zu den Australiern von VIRGIN BLACK, die Klassik mit Gothic Metal mischen, oder dem elektronischeren Projekt DIE VERBANNTEN KINDER EVAS ziehen: Man gibt sich einen leicht metallischen Unterbau, und lässt ansonsten mal so richtig Klavier, Geige und Glockenspiel erklingen. Stimmlich kommt LUNA dabei ohne wirklich viel Gesang aus, von ein paar choralen Einschüben und Growls - im schönsten RUINS OF BEVERAST-Stil - einmal abgesehen.

Verblüffend an "Ashes To Ashes" ist zudem, dass die Scheibe eine ganz eigene Zeitrechnung zu haben scheint: Die erste halbe Stunde geht auf jeden Fall erfrischend schnell und unterhaltsam vorüber, in der zweiten werden die Klavier-Motive doch ein bisschen häufig wieder aufgegriffen und der Fortschritt verlangsamt sich leider. Zudem ist der Grat, den LUNA beschreiten, insgesamt recht schmal: Allzu leicht kann die Mischung zwischen klassischen Elementen und schleppenden Gitarren in Hintergrundmusik abdriften – leider gelingt es "Ashes To Ashes" nicht durchgängig, die Spannung aufrechtzuerhalten. Ein bisschen mehr Dramatik täte stellenweise ganz gut, idealerweise auch über den Einsatz weiterer klassischer und vor allem organischerer Instrumentierung. So muss noch das Keyboard vollständig als Atmosphärelieferant herhalten. Aber auf einem Debüt gibt es vielleicht auch noch kein Prager Symphonieorchester spendiert.

Ob "Ashes To Ashes" damit dazu ausreicht, die mächtigen MONOLITHE oder die verträumten EA ernsthaft herauszufordern, wie die Labelbeschreibung andeutet, und der Ukrainer auf der Doom-Autobahn auf die Überholspur wechselt, kann man mal dahinstellen – zumindest ist es aber ein Warnschuss, dass von diesem Newcomer noch zu hören sein könnte. LUNA besetzt in seiner symphonischen Interpretation des Death Doom auf jeden Fall ein Stück weit seine eigene Nische: Wer ein Faible für THERIONs "Theli" hat oder auch MY DYING BRIDE gut haben kann, findet hier ein hörenswertes Werk.

Author: Sven Lattemann
Review
DarkUndergroundMusicZine
8/10
13.06.2014

Luna are a 1 man band from Ukraine that plays a very atmospheric and symphonic form of funeral doom/death metal and this is a review of his 2014 album "Ashes to Ashes" which was released by Solitude Productions.

Dark sounding symphonic synths start off the album and they also use a variety of many different sounding keys and after a couple of minutes the music starts going for a more heavier and atmospheric direction as well adding in the doom metal sounds and there is also a great amount of melody being used throughout this 55 minute long song.

As the song progresses it starts going for a more melodic funeral doom metal sound and it sticks to a slow musical direction from beginning to end as well as having a symphonic sounding background and after 34 minutes of being all instrumental tribal elements, demonic growling vocals and drones become a part of the song briefly while the music remains true to a funeral doom/dearth metal direction and then the music also goes back to being all instrumental and during the last 5 minutes of the song melodic guitar leads are added into the music.

Luna creates a very long and dark 55 minute epic song with this album bringing a more symphonic, melodic and atmospheric take on funeral doom/death metal while still having the heaviness this genre is known for and he sticks to mostly an instrumental direction with only a few seconds of growls and the production sounds very dark, powerful and heavy sounding.

In my opinion Luna are a very great sounding atmospheric and symphonic funeral doom/death metal project and if you are a fan of this musical genre, you should check out this album.

Author: OccultBlackMetal
Review
All About the Rock
9/10
13.06.2014

I’m a big fan of the atmospheric instrumental music by bands such as Godspeed You! Black Emperor, Juno Reactor, and zYnthetic. So I was thrilled when I received a copy of the debut album by Ukrainian doom metallers Luna.

Ashes To Ashes consists of a single 57 minute long track of gothic doom metal. Listening to it is like listening to the soundtrack of a horror or post apocalyptic movie. It’s eerie, dramatic, epic, and disturbing in equal measure.

Luna have done an amazing job here because Ashes To Ashes varies enough that it doesn’t get overly repetitive or dull, but at the same time manages to retain an over-arching sound and feel. The musicianship is first class and so is the production on the album.

If you like your music dark and haunting then this is definitely worth checking out – awesome stuff !

Author: Rich Dodgin
Review
Iye Zine
6.8/10
13.06.2014

Parlare di questo disco presenta diversi trabocchetti, non ultimo quello di rischiare di contraddirsi più volte nel corso della stessa recensione.

Il problema è che questo Ashes to Ashes, album d’esordio della one-man band ucraina Luna, in pratica fonde senza mezzi termini gli ultimi lavori di Ea e Monolithe, attingendo a piene mani dalla formula che ha reso peculiari queste due grandi realtà del funeral-death doom, a partire dalla presenza nella tracklist di una sola, lunghissima, traccia.
Le affinità non finiscono certamente qui, infatti lo stile compositivo esibito da DeMort, il musicista che sta dietro quest’operazione, non si discosta di un millimetro da quello espresso dalle due band citate, grazie alla sovrabbondanza di atmosfere evocative guidate per lo più da un solenne lavoro di tastiera, sovente dal tocco orchestrale, oppure da un uso minimale del pianoforte che va a tracciare linee melodiche semplici ma coinvolgenti, appoggiate su uno schema basato su un’alternanza quasi matematica tra riff e interventi delle batteria.
Insomma, messa così ce ne sarebbe abbastanza per scagliare indignati le cuffie urlando al plagio (o giù di lì), se non fosse che Ashes to Ashes, nonostante la lunghezza e un’innegabile ripetitività di fondo, si rivela un ascolto assolutamente gradevole, in particolare per chi ama sia i misteriosi russi privi di un nome ed un volto, sia i più riconoscibili ma altrettanto schivi transalpini.
L’unica differenza, non da poco ai fini delle sua resa finale, è la matrice strumentale dell’album, il che ne rende inevitabilmente più faticoso l’ascolto, oltre a farlo sembrare, di fatto, un sorta di disco ambient sul quale siano stati innestati abilmente pesanti riff di chitarra e le percussioni.
Per il resto nulla da dire sull’abilità di DeMort nel costruire quasi un’ora di musica credibile, riuscendo nel contempo a tenersi sufficientemente alla larga da quella stucchevolezza che, in simili circostanze, rischia di prendere in ogni attimo il sopravvento; positivo anche il fatto che, tutto sommato, Ashes To Ashes prenda quota nel suo quarto d’ora finale, quando però gli Ea diventano decisamente qualcosa in più di una semplice influenza.
Insomma, prendendo questo lavoro così com’è, fingendo d’aver perso temporaneamente la memoria, potremmo godercelo senza alcuna remora; purtroppo non è così e, pur non essendo un maniaco dell’originalità a tutti i costi, non posso fare a meno di proporre un paragone alpinistico: c’è colui che apre una nuova via e c’è invece quello che, successivamente, la utilizza faticando indubbiamente molto meno; poi si potrà dire che entrambi sono arrivati comunque in vetta, ma nessuno dovrà mai dimenticare che ciò è avvenuto con tempi e modalità ben differenti.

Author: Stefano Cavanna
Review
Gorgers Metall
06.06.2014

Er du klar for en solid dose funeral doom? Luna er et nytt ukrainsk band bestеende utelukkende av DeMort, som ogsе spiller i Amily. Pе denne skiva er det kun et spor, men varigheten er til gjengjeld pе 57 minutter, hvilket trolig allerede har gitt de fleste kjennere assosiasjoner til Monolithe og Ea. Lеten det her dreier seg om heter naturlig nok Ashes to Ashes, og makter faktisk е skille seg ganske bra ut fra de to nevnte monolittene, og шvrige funeral-bandene. (Hvem i helvete putta fun i funeral, i det hele tatt?)
Luna har benyttet et variert assortiment av orkestrale elementer i musikken, og lеter ikke fullt sе baktunge og tungsinnede som sjangerens шvrige konstellasjoner. En viss sшrgmodighet finner vi selvfшlgelig, men det primжre uttrykket er av mer mektige og majestetiske proporsjoner. Her finner vi cello, ordinжre strykere, tangenter og kirkeorgel. Alt via software, vil jeg tro, men kun a-koringen hшres direkte syntetisk ut. Jeg har forшvrig hшrt skiver med et uheldig skolekorps-preg ogsе, sе dette godkjennes, selv om cred-poengene uteblir. En annen forskjell fra nevnte band er at Luna ikke lеter fullt sе atmosfжriske, da gitaren her ikke produserer like svevende og langstrakte toner, spesielt sammenlignet med Monolithe. Det er ikke vokal her, og ikke savner jeg det heller til en forandring, men etter knappe 34 minutter fеr vi ihvertfall noen ord fra et troll, som bringer et dystert budskap om dшd over enhver som gеr i hans skog, eller hvor faen....
Det som holder entusiasme sterkest tilbake, er litt langvarige sykluser med repetisjoner. Lеten bestеr, for е sette det pе spissen, av moduler i loop. Sшmlшse overgange kommer med jevne mellomrom, men det hadde vжrt mulig е skape mer kontinuerlig flyt her. Jeg mislikte partiet fra 41:02-43:02 de fшrste 5-6 gangene, og jaggu kom ikke den samme tonerekken tilbake bare sekunder senere (43:36-45:19). Ikke pе grunn av kirkeorgel-lyden, det er et instrument like mektig som det er digert, men pе grunn av den lite givende og repetitive melodien. Etter mange gjennomlyttinger lеter det ikke sе ille lenger, men litt ensartet lyder det fortsatt. Dette forhindrer meg pе ingen mеte i е nyte albumets vakre melodier og storslеtte stemninger. Jeg setter slikt smеpirk pе kontoen for barnesykdommer. Lunas episke symfoniske funeral doom er for meg en ny fusjon av stilarter som fungerer meget godt. Nesten som majones pе pizzaen, i mangel av mer fantasifulle eksempler. (Bare prшv). Jeg koser meg med Ashes to Ashes. Det er tydelig at DeMort er en musikalsk sjel, og det skal bli spennende е se hva han kan by pе i fremtiden.
Konklusjon: En flott, men ikke helt knirkefri symfonisk funeral-lеt med litt ny, men ikke revolusjonerende vri. Jeg lander mellom 4 og 5, men velger е legge godsiden til for en debutant. Dette er tross alt ganske imponerende fra et enmannsband.
Review
Metal Temple
8/10
05.09.2014

Invoking the emotions of the darkest corners of the human mind, LUNA's one-song album engrosses the listener's auditory receptors and maintains a heavy, haunting sound.

When you piece together the fact that this band is from Ukraine, it's easy to tie the heavy, depressive tones to the difficult nature of life there. A profound sense of struggle and sadness is present throughout the song, all fifty-seven minutes of it. The majority of it is slow rhythm and percussion, yet the faster tempo and transcendent double bass segments fit in well, providing an awesome sense of “epicness”. There are dark overtones combined with moments of uplifting and progressive undertones, and the combination of the two provide a balance a monster of a song such as this would need.

Perhaps a favorite feature throughout the evolution of the song is the liberal use of piano and symphonic instruments. In terms of Doom Metal, this piece is well orchestrated and each instrument track blends flawlessly with the others. Everything is crisp and clear in quality and isn't hard to figure out the production is top-notch.

To some fans, this will be less of a musical experience and more of a spiritual or emotional one. However the melancholy connotations are heard, it is easy to listen to and thus worth the time spent under the haunting spell of "Ashes to Ashes".

Author: Matt Johnson
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