Originally released in 1999, then re-released by new label Projekt the following year, Moon Oppose Moon, the band's full debut, shows lead member Michael Laird and his range of collaborators -- some of whom left before the album first appeared -- dedicated to the possibilities of melancholy, elegant gloom. That Laird names such bands as Dead Can Dance and In Gowan Ring as his favorites isn't surprising upon giving Moon a listen, but his choice of groups like Sepultura and Weekend shows that there's a broader appreciation at play. Add in the wide range of influences the others in the band -- keyboardist Natalia Lincoln's love of numerous classical music composers, percussionist/singer Melody Henry's namechecking from Current 93 to Pablo Neruda and more -- and the sense of range attempted at is apparent. Certainly the band's own description of itself as "exploring apocalyptic folk and synthetic gloom" sums it up as well as anything. The vocal emphasis is generally on the trio of female singers -- most prominently Kit Messick, one of the members who departed after recording -- though Laird sings himself on about half the tracks, with a soft, gentle air. The combination of traditional music emphases and modern touches make the Dead Can Dance comparisons quite understandable, but there's a simpler, sparer approach on Moon than what band creates. Laird's delicate guitar playing and additional instruments help lead the songs, but the other performers, including the intriguingly-named Spider Grandmother on harp and Paul Ash on everything from hurdy-gurdy to plucked dulcimer, give the songs even more beauty and depth. Once or twice things sound a touch more goofy than haunting, such as the bass synth fills on "Scourge," but generally Moon Oppose Moon is a striking first effort, well worth the investigating.
Performance CreditsUnto Ashes Primary Artist
Paul Ash Dulcimer,Guitar,Percussion,Keyboards,Hurdy-Gurdy
Kit Messick Percussion,Vocals
Melody Henry Percussion,Vocals,Bells,Hammered Dulcimer
Natalia Lincoln Percussion,Keyboards,Vocals
Spider Grandmother Percussion,Harp
Michael Laird Dulcimer,Guitar,Percussion,Keyboards,Vocals,Hammered Dulcimer
Technical CreditsDave Lilies Engineer
Michael Laird Graphic Design
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Moon Oppose Moon based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Moon Oppose Moon is a beautiful mix of medieval and dark electronica. The timelessness of certain songs like ''this duration of emptiness'' and ''teach me how to drown'' make this an album that will be just as current and lovely ten years from now as it is today. A combination of female and male vocal pieces and lush instrumentals make sure there is something here for everyone who enjoys melancholy music. Highly recommended.