Glass Moon - Once In The Studio

Year of Release: 2005
Label: n/a
Catalog Number: n/a
Format: CD
Total Time: 24:20:00

In March of last year, the Austrian band Glass Moon, on the recommendation of their webmaster Wolf (with whom I chatted at Seismic Radio in years past), sent me their demo. While we don't make a habit of reviewing demos, because of the situation, I made an exception. Though, of course, it's taken a while for that CD to make it to my player, where it then stayed in rotation for a month or two more. While there was no title written on the CDR, I am going to call this Once In The Studio, as that is the title of the promo CD mentioned on their website, though the track order there is different.

The band members at the time this was recorded were: Rupert Träxler (guitars), Markus Preissl (keyboards), Ronald Kemsies (vocals), R¨diger Kostron (bass) and Christian Ziegelwanger (drums). Subsequently, Stephan Forst took over on bass in December 2005 and André Wright assumed vocals in July 2006.

So? here are the pertinent questions: what can you expect? And is this band worth investigating?

Based on the demo, I'd have to say "Yes" to the second question. This is a pretty darn good demo. Not just down to the music itself, but to the production of the demo. It sounds great, giving each instrument clarity and focus. No one instrument is dominant over the others, and yet they aren't all at the same level either. It isn't a chaotic mix, but is instead well balanced. If I sound surprised, I am. One expects a demo to be a bit raw and rough around the edges? If this is rough around the edges, it's microscopically so.

The first question, then. What can you expect? Well, if you know that Glass Moon is primarily known as a Dream Theater tribute band, then you might expect that their own material would sound like Dream Theater. It doesn't. Oh, maybe here and there in spots, but frankly, not all that much. Yes, they are a progressive metal band, and you can expect to hear some signature metal elements - chugging guitars, searing guitar leads, pounding drums, throaty bass, etc., etc. But? well, let's look at the tracks, shall we?

First, a caveat. I don't think the tracklisting of the promo as listed on the website, and the tracklisting provided to me with the promo, are accurate as relates to this promo version. So, by process of elimination, I've designated the track order thusly: "Vertigo," "Far Away," "Hurting Words," "Variatio Delectat Nr. 5," and "Behind The Wall." However, tracks 1 and 5 might visa versa.

The CD opens with moody tones of throbbing bass and chiming guitar - it reminds me a bit of Pink Floyd (a certain spaciness) and of Metallica's "Nothing Else Matters" (the subtle, understated opening). It's a slowly burning piece at first, becomes a chugging, prog-metal piece in short order, and even contains some silky David Gilmour-like guitar phrases. And at times, is a bit "neo-proggy" (I thought of Satellite). In this configuration, the band shine as instrumentalists, the drowsy, faintly accented vocals of Kemsies being the sometimes flat element. He's not a bad vocalist, I actually quite like his voice, even if it is a tad whiny at times. But the instrumentation just sparkles.

Fiery metal comes next with the groovy, funky "Far Away." It's got a classic, rock feel; something you might say has "hit" written all over it. It's radio friendly and hits all those accessible-rock points. Soundgarden and Slash kept coming to mind, though nothing I can pin down. It's catchy and it what will probably stick with you after the CD has ended. Not necessarily the best track of the bunch, but certainly the catchiest and most accessible. Track 3, "Hurting Words," is a balladic piece that is heavier on the keyboards. It a bit in the realm of late 80s hair-metal, but is more progressive-minded that that would imply. Take that accessibility with progressive elements (the parpy-ish keyboards mostly) and this is the results.

The fourth track, "Variato Delectat" is a grinding, throaty (guitar, bass), parpy (keyboard) instrumental that taps into classic progressive metal and guitar pyrotechnics. It's actually a nifty workout that showcases four of the five members.

The collection concludes with ""Behind The Wall," a piece that has a few hints of IQ and Pallas. It's mellow yet heavy, that heaviness coming from the drums and percussion. It's not the fullout rock of "Far Away," nor is the balladic "Hurting Words" ? or even the slightly dirge like "Vertigo," but falls somewhere in between those three.

Well, all in all, I like this debut/demo from Glass Moon. As I said above, it's pretty darn good. We can probably expect more from this quintet, and I'd welcome it. It's probably bad form to rate a demo, but this sounds so good production wise that it hardly sounds like a demo, so? there you go: 4/5.

Behind The Wall / Far Away / Hurting Words / Variatio Delectat Nr. 5 / Vertigo

Rupert Tr?xler - guitars
Markus Preissl - keyboards
Ronald Kemsies - vocals
R?diger Kostron - bass
Christian Ziegelwanger - drums

Once In The Studio (demo) (2005)

Genre: Progressive-Power Metal

Origin AT

Added: October 7th 2006
Reviewer: Stephanie Sollow
Artist website:
Hits: 1937
Language: english


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