Let’s welcome Moonscape to the world of melodic metal! Moonscape has just released their debut album, “Entity” on October 2nd and I have only good things to tell you. They are actually one man, Håvard Lunde. He is a multi-instrumentalist native to Gjøvik, Norway. And Moonscape itself is considered a prog/melodic metal solo artist.
“Entity” is comprised of nine songs compiled onto a single 40-minute track. While it was written by, produced by, and includes the instrumental and vocal talents of Håvard, it’s a collaborative effort made by fifteen different artists altogether. Vocalists include Jim Brunaud (named on the album as “Father”), Matthew Brown (Man), and Kent Are Sommerseth (Demon). The guitarists are Leviathan, Andreas Jonsson, John Kiernan, Alex Campbell, Noah Watts, Justin Hombach, and Simen Ådnøy Ellingsen. The keyboardists/pianist include Diego Palma, Jon Hunt, and David Russell. And the saxophonist is Sean Winter. Håvard himself covered vocal aspects as well as some guitar sections and the percussion heard throughout the album. None of these men live close-by, and so each of their respective parts were recorded separately and local to them, then mixed together in what I consider a fantastic album, particularly for their first.
As I’ve said, “Entity” is a single track playing a total forty minutes and thirty seconds. Initially, I was of course confused when I couldn’t play through each song separately. But a quick word with Håvard explained all. When asked if it was supposed to be a single track he states “Yes it is,” Håvard starts, then explains, “It’s a concept album. The protagonist is no longer able to face reality, so he escapes to his own mind to create his own [reality], in which he has to face a demon that he thought was gone, but has just been lurking in his subconsciousness. It’s all a metaphor for isolation, and all the crap that comes with it.” If you’d like to hear each song separately, you can do so here. But I will tell you that “Entity” is a story, and skipping a chapter takes so much away from it. On top of interrupting the story though, separating the songs makes the transition between them much more abrupt. Personally, I prefer the gradual change from one song to the next. My best recommendation for differentiating between songs without physically separating them, is to buy the CD. The disk insert contains the lyrics that can aid in hearing each track for its own. It also tells you which artist is credited with each part of a song.
Coming back to the transitions though, my favorite part in the album is a chill-inducing shift between “Disconsolation” and “A Farewell To Reality,” where Man says “I’ll find a way, another day, another world where I’ll belong… Goodbye.” The next song immediately begins with the Demon’s verse. The parallel of the calm piano playing alongside Man’s enchanting vocals and the intensity of the music behind the Demon’s harsh vocals gets me every time I listen to it.
I understand that a single 40 minute track can sound daunting compared to the typical 3-5 minute songs we usually get now. But each time I’ve listened to “Entity,” the end has come sooner than i had realized, and sure enough I’d find myself jumping back to the beginning. It’s well worth it to give it a listen. And I myself openly welcome Moonscape to the melodic metal scene.