MOANAA - Passage

Moanaa - Passage

7 songs
55:17 minutes
***** ***


Two years after their self-released debut longplayer Descent, Moanaa from Southern Poland are back with their sophomore record Passage, this time published on a label. Last time the band featured two singers, one of whom has in the meantime left the band, although that doesnít change the stylistic output not that dramatically. In fact one could say that Moanaa have perfected their idea of a post metal sound, and while they are hardly pioneers nor innovators, they are doing their thing with such a passion and professionality that listening to Passage should be a treat for every fan of the genre.

The album starts with a short atmospheric intro, simply titled [...] before the two part The Process shows all the splendour of a good post metal song in its twelve minutes. And thatís the thing about Moanaa: they do really like to revel in lengthy compositions, and where lesser bands would get tangled up in monotony and boredom, Moanaa use the space to come up with varied songwriting that shows that they know that good post metal wants to be spiced up with other influences. There are of course elements of post rock, but more notably there is occasionally a strong hint of new wave sounds that remind of The Cure and even sometimes of U2.

The only song under ten minutes is Crystal which is still nearly seven minutes long. Itís probably the most accessible track on the album, highlighting how the band has managed to juxtapose melodic and aggressive parts in a very coherent way. The final three tracks are all between ten and twelve and a half minutes and make up for more than half of the album. Especially the first eight minutes of Terra Mater show the band at their most developed and prove that if you have such a great vocalist, you donít actually need a second one anymore. Why the last four minutes of that track sound like a hidden bonus track even though it is not the last song of the album will stay probably a mystery forever.

Of course Moanna have not been among the pioneers of the post metal genre which started twenty years ago, even though its heyday must have been in the early years of the millennium, and still they show that the genre has not yet been spent. Itís amazing how Moanaa have managed to lighten up their sound with well-seasoned if discreet new wave part that give Passage even more of a dynamic tension than they could already muster on their debut. Fans of modern atmospheric metal will be delighted at this short one-hour exercise.

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