Although this album had already been out for over two years by the time I looked it up, I still had that jittery, excited feeling that someone has when they first listen to a band’s newly released album. I guess this was because I had come to love and embrace Dark Lunacy and the entire melodic death genre so much that I was extremely excited to hear something new from one of my first death metal bands. With the little background information I could find on this album, I learned that Dark Lunacy still hadn’t obtained a very big fan base and were struggling with album sales even though Forget Me Not did get some positive attention from the media and the Italian metalhead community. The Diarist was Dark Lunacy’s breakthrough album. Although they don’t seem to be very many people’s favorites, they’re one of those bands that almost all diehard fans of European melodic death have at least HEARD OF. At least having your name be widely recognized and remembered is a huge step up and enough to even satisfy some musicians. Dark Lunacy knew that they needed to prove themselves worthy to the world and the exponentially growing amount of European metal bands.
I remember every single moment of the first time I listened to the first track off this album. There was a split second at the very beginning when I thought “did they blow it?..please may this not be a disaster” because of the really weird sounding stuff the choir sung in the crappy sounding recording. The instant that the choir erupted into that major chord, I knew that they had finally done it; I knew that Dark Lunacy had finally come up with something amazing. And although I don’t let my first impressions affect my final opinion, my opinion hadn’t changed a bit when the song ended. This is still a song that I play by itself without the rest of the album because it alone is enough to satisfy me. And not only that, pretty much every song on this album is satisfying enough by itself. But honestly, none of them even compare to the melodic power of Aurora.
If you haven’t read the reviews I wrote on Dark Lunacy’s first two albums, the main problem that those albums had was that there wasn’t much of a balance between the classical elements and the metal elements. The two elements had a really hard time flowing smoothly together. So basically what they did was leave the slightly blended element chunks in the blender until they mixed together so that they could flow together smoothly as a whole instead of two separate parts. You can actually hear lots of classical and baroque influences in what the guitars are playing as well as a less abstract sound in the classical instruments. That alone shows that they’re doing more than just flowing together, they’re flowing together and within each other.
Aside from the newly implemented classical influence in the metal side, the heavier areas follow more of a traditional melodic death sound than the experimentally abstract sound they had before. I think that this change alone has made the music much, much easier to swallow and understand. Another new thing that has been introduced is deep harmonized singing (most notably in the second track, Play Dead). This is another part of the traditional melodic death sound that has been thrown into the flavoring. The growls sound even more powerful and enraged than in Forget Me Not which enhances the darker side of the music.
The Diarist is Dar Lunacy’s best album and Aurora is what I would consider to be the best first impression the band has to offer. This album is filled with depressive melodic death with classical and baroque elements and influences. On top of that, there are beautiful melodic guitar solos, signs of experimentation, and outright beauty. Even though Aurora is my favorite song off the album, other AMAZING tracks are Play Dead, Pulkovo Meridian, Now is Forever, The Farewell Song, and Snowdrifts. But don’t let that distract you from the fact that EVERY SONG ON THIS ALBUM IS PERFECT. And not only that, the album is as perfect as my score.