- - - - - -

Lightless Moor - Hymn for the Fallen

Lightless Moor - CD Review
Hymn for the Fallen

 Lightless Moor - Hymn for the Fallen

CD info
12 tracks
Italian lyrics

I covered Lightless Moor’s last release, The Poem some time ago. They sent me the latest and I’m finally getting around to it, too many things to do in the summer in the Great Northland, doncha know. The last one was pretty good, but, there was a theme to it and I didn’t really pick up on it until later, my mistake, probably drinking. So, this time I asked for some help with my understanding and vocalist Ilaria Falchi helped me out a little.

Italians are usually pretty easy to pick out in terms of musical style. Lightless Moor doesn’t seem to follow that trend. Maybe it’s the “Moor” in the title. There clearly is that Northern African sound that sometimes flows through the material, and that’s not a negative comment. It gives it a richness that seems to define the music. Not to say it isn’t metal, it is, with some really fine vocals, both male and female. And the metal is not to be dissed either, very fine guitar work, kick ass drums, all the things that drive this style of music. But, maybe it’s the occasional acoustic sounding guitar, the symphonic, maybe the Falchi vocals. . . whatever. But, it takes us to a different place, a place where the sounds are a bit foreign to the ear. And nothing appeals like a different approach to the genre, especially when it’s done well.

The lyrics tell us this release tends towards the dark Gothic, but, with an Italian interpretation of that lyrical direction. Ilaria talked about the general theme of the release, “Hymn for the Fallen is our way to give voice to who lost it. The songs tell about stories of madness, death, sickness, mental illness, violence. Who are the Fallen? They are all who lost hope and power and voice to tell their stories to other. Tortured animals and destroyed nature, a lover who lost his woman in death, women killed in their violent relationship, who suffers by anorexia, everyone who has to lie in everyday life to fit with the system, children abused by their parents, people who live prisoned by physical and psychological borders. We wanted to give a chance to all of them to find hope and build themselves again. Everyone of us has his own story of rage, sadness, death and sickness. Our hymn is a way to raise our heads and find a better way.”

Clearly there is a perception of growth with the present release. You notice it in the more mature background music, especially the symphonic components. But, you also notice it in the vocal approach. Ilaria has the kind of voice that can perform with a range of emotions, her sound covers a landscape of broad texture. There are harsh vocals, Federica Mura addresses that component and, although that component is limited, it provides a signature input that provides emphasis to the thoughts and emotions expressed here. Again, our lovely Italian vocalist addressed this evolution, “We change in the years. We become more mature. I am working on my body and on my mind to love me more and to grow as a singer. Our music change with us and we intentionally wanted to change a little bit from The Poem. We needed to free ourselves from the standard of classical gothic metal we referred in the first time. We needed to break from the past and find a sound that could be more representative of ourselves. Indeed the themes and the lyrics influenced this process. The stories are hard and the music had to be coherent with them. We love Hymn for the Fallen. We had the will to experiment on ourselves and we are glad to see what came of it.”

Hymn for the Fallen is hard to classify; a bit Gothic to be sure, there is a Doom component to some tracks, there is surely some killer metal and we get some lovely ballads. This bunch has solid musical chops and they’re not afraid to demonstrate them. But, there’s not a consistent style within the release. We get lovely material, In Death She Comes, for instance, where the beat is somewhat reduced and the vocal carries the day. We even get what appears to approach the “electronic” on the track The Unlocked Door to the Other World. But the more typical sound is found in tracks like Qualcosa Vive Attraverso where the vocals present a more desperate and intense perspective. But, the band may sound best in tracks like A Dream Written in the Sand and Fairytales of Lies where we get the essence of Lightless Moor. Here, we get the finest B & B, the most interesting metal and some of the finest symphonics. Ilaria has a voice that sounds good doing multiple styles but, as you listen to this release, you recognize that there are some that are clearly more interesting, musically, than others for one reason or another.

There are a few tracks I’d like to focus on from a lyrical perspective. We get some interesting thoughts here and there is some correlation between those thoughts and the musical excellence. Of course, I have my particular thoughts on excellence, both musical and lyrical, but, I’m in charge here so this will reflect those particular interpretations.

The introductory track. The Cascade and the Shadow, is one of those that seem to be based on a Middle Eastern, Morish?, approach to the music. The thoughts take us down a dark road:

I wait still here / With the noisy / Water.
I can’t bear / Her crush and let her / Hotly caress my skin.

Loneliness / Gorged herself / With all my energies.

She raped every idea / And left me guilty / On the ground.
Invisible as water / Silently as air / My stomach devours me / My scars are always ready
To hide

The Greatest Lie is another that provides thoughts that give us pause. The track is a rocker, almost a classical rocker, at least as close as this project can come to that concept. But, the thoughts are what drive the material. We cannot escape the directness of the message, our reality is influenced by the ideas expressed:

Tortured, humiliated and beaten./ Our children cried as yours
Away from our wombs. / Poisoned to cure your sick throats,
Raised in darkness to your sadistic greed.

This is the greatest lie / That you believed in
That from death could rise life / That from sickness could rise health.
Can’t you see the truth just in front of you? / How can you have just money as your god?

No soul in your lies / No feeling in your eyes
You forgot our language / Of love and brotherhood
Where did you lose yourself?

Lightless Moor presents us with some first class music in this release; great vocals, fine metal, symphonics. . . . some of it with a slightly “Morish” mood to it. You can enjoy it for that, you can be satisfied with what you have there. But, for me, it’s the thoughts that drive this to a first class release. The lyrics are relatively easy to understand for English speakers, and it’s well worth your while to pay attention. Another solid release from Italy.