MOANAA - Embers

Moanaa - Embers

6 songs
40:19 minutes
***** ***


I have been following Moanaa from Southern Poland more or less from the beginning. The quintet quintessentially plays quite a standard kind of post metal, and even though they canít be counted among the progenitors of the genre, they have always known how to craft powerful post metal albums that didnít have to hide behind the better-known bands of the genre. Only founding member and guitarist Łukasz Kursa and vocalist K-vass remain from the line-up of the first two albums. Three new members had to be recruited in 2017 on guitar, bass and drums, and after a first EP together in 2019, Moanaa are now back with their third longplayer Embers.

It shows that there have been changes, because unlike the previous two albums which always made it to nearly one hour playing time, Moanaa decided this time to limit themselves to six mostly long songs that make it to exactly forty minutes. The overall sound feels heavier than in the past, and yet the dense wall of sound adds an occasional psychedelic shoegaze touch to it all that made me remind of the more aggressive material by Killing Joke. The lack of acoustic moments as happened in the past may have stripped Embers somewhat of variety, but the engaging songwriting makes up for that. The more often you listen to the song, the more fine details will reveal themselves to you. I especially like the skills of the new drummer who sometimes, just like that, doubles the pace by playing his extremely fast and percussive drum lines.

Apart from Expire, a softer track just under four minutes, the songs are all between six and nine minutes long, with especially the first half convincing with truly mindbending ideas. The opener Nothing comes with a nicely groovy sludge rhythm and great harsh vocal melodies, whereas the following Lie, at nine minutes the albumís magnum opus, shows off the quintetís more psychedelic side.

It canít be said that Moanaa are reinventing the post rock genre, but they are also not repeating themselves but working hard on finding new facets with their newly added band members. Fans of hard hitting post metal with lots of atmosphere are certainly the target audience, but I am certain that Moanaa will also find fans among the general populace with yet another outstanding addition to their catalogue.

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