Luna Mortis are another one of those great bands that seemed to fly under the radar and then split up before i'd even heard of them. Shame, as this band has talent by the buckets loads
Luna Mortis (formerly called Ottaman Empire), like many good modern bands, have that uncanny nack of combining a bucket load of genre's all at once. Sometimes prog metal, sometimes tech-metal, sometimes power metal, sometimes hints of NWOBHM and thrash, sometimes blasts of melodeth, sometimes even a little shade of alt-rock, but always done with grace and talent. The guitar combo of Brian Koenig and Cory Scheider are cetainly up there with the best, combining plenty of technical shred, thunderous death metal, harmonised leads and crushing chords with soft acoustic pieces and mid-paced rocking riffs like its nothings. Seriously, guitar players will get a lot of out this album due to the high level of skill, songwriting and variety. The songs have so may twists and turns, but the melodies and riffs are very memorable. Throw in Mary Zimmer's effortless transition from silky clean singing (with vibrato that would make Bruce Dickenson blush) to gutteral blasts of death metal fury and you've got a winner on your hands. Although they don't sound that much alike, Into Eternity are probably a good comparison, as are Amaran if they had death vocals.
There's just so much going on with this album, with just about every song containing different elements of fast, slow, soothing, searing and such a high level of playing ability its hard not to like this. Even the albums most simple track Forever More, a straight up power metal number, is pure gold. There's also a nice balance of maybe 60% clean and 40% death vocals, which is nice for a chance as most bands rely heavily on one or the other.
I cannot say enough good things about this album. A real shame they split up. If you can handle some growls in your prog/power metal or quite a bit of clean singing with your melodic death then I hope you'll enjoy The Absence.
p.s. If you also like this I would recommend a Swedish band called Amaran.