Luminaria - Arche
You know, I'm beginning to wonder if Bombworks Records has this secret stash of bands and they just let a few of them loose every now and then whenever they feel like impressing all us metal fans. I've been getting more and more blown away with this label and the addition of Luminaria as one of their new acts further confirms that this label is not just pushing quantity, but quality as well.
Luminaria hails from Poland and plays a breathtaking mixture of metal styles, rooting firmly in goth, but also incorporating doom, black metal, and even industrial influences. I think fans of bands like Moonspell and Morphia will relate best here, but I can easily see fans of bands like Virgin Black, Saviour Machine, Type O Negative, and even Dimmu Borgir getting into this band. The quality of musicianship here and the attention to detail is fantastic. This is not an album that you have to get used to. This is an album that will win you over before the first listen is finished. The crushing guitars, the haunting atmospheres, and the alternating vocals styles that range from a Moonspell/David Bowie-ish sound, to deep growls, to frightening black shrieks, all combine to make this one unforgettable release. The emotion that drips from every second of this album is overwhelming at times. Heck, after the heavily influenced Saviour Machine guitar solo in the song "Irmão" and then the beautiful acoustic outro they had me wrapped around their little finger. As for the Morphia influences I mentioned earlier, check out the song "Lust to Imprison". The opening guitar mixed with the guttural growling vocals...will have Morphia fans drooling. And after all I've just said, I really feel like I haven't done this band justice. The depth of this release is so much more than what I've tried to describe to you here in this review.
And the mind-boggling thing about all of this is that this entire album, save for the final track, was recorded between 2003-2004! But to think this sounds even the slightest bit dated is foolishness.
To round things out, we have ourselves pristine production, gorgeous artwork, and deep, thought-provoking lyrics (some of which may upset a few people who may be expecting something this band is not). What more could one ask for? This is a metal lovers feast! If I don't see this disc on some "best of" year end lists I will be completely shocked. You know all the hype that Bombworks is talking about this album? Believe it.
Review By: Matt Morrow
Label: Bombworks Records
Total Songs: 8
Total Time: 40:59
Tracklisting: 1. Intro, 2. Unreasonably Forlorn Hours, 3. World Built on Sand, 4. Irmão, 5. Lust to Imprison, 6. Obsession Élyséenne, 7. The Arabesque, 8. Al Aaraaf (Luminous Version).
Best Songs: Tracks 2, 3, 4, 5, 6,...ah crap...all of them!
Band Lineup: Wojciech Wawoczny "Wavoc" - Vocals, Adam Pejcha "Anhell" - Bass, Arek Karnazycki - Keyboards, Xaria - Guitars, Mort - Drums.
Band Website: http://www.luminaria.cei.pl/