Album Review: El Moono – The Waking Sun (Lockjaw Records)

Brighton-based post-hardcore/alt metal four-piece El Moono will release their highly anticipated 13-track debut album, ‘The Waking Sun’ on 10th May via Lockjaw Records.

Finally! It’s here! The debut El Moono album!

One of the most exciting bands in rock and metal right now, the slew of singles released has done little to whet the appetite, even if each has made it clearer and clearer that this album was going to be very special. Which it is, it really freaking is. El Moono have delivered here, at times, more than any fan could have expected.

It is an album of the year contender, and it doesn’t take long for that thought process to feel like reality. El Moono introducing the album with Dawn, which has big atmospheric tones that have a gothic horror feel. Before their innate and exciting weirdness comes out fully formed with the post-hardcore heavyweight track, Illusionist. A killer combo that showcases so much vibrancy, even if the hue is shadowy.

A deep breath is needed, after all, this album hasn’t even got going and already El Moono will have you suffering from heart tremors. Something that isn’t going away anytime soon, not when the title track comes with so much erratic and emphatic noise. Up there as one of the best on the album overall, it is a track that has the capabilities to make you groove.

That’s part of the El Moono appeal though, the fact that they are uniquely accessible and challenging in equal measure. Their soundscape is always pulsating with creativity, and no amount of attempted genre placement works for them. Regardless of if you can believe it or not, El Moono can be impressibly anthemic.

Even when it’s coming from psych-infused atmosphere like The Charm, or it’s coming from the intensifying sinisterness of Haunting. Who, upon hearing these tracks and how El Moono constantly refresh things, isn’t going to be madly in love with this album?

The more time spent in its company, the more it captivates. It’s like being under a spell. Where a certain amount of gloom begins to peck away at the edges of your vision, and the sounds El Moono make wraps around the mind like a swaddling blanket. Deeper and deeper you go, where the persuasive and robust heaviness of Chains adds some panic-inducing weight.

Panic that passes as El Moono then drop The First Man on Mars. A track that oozes atmosphere, creates melodic intrigue, has heavy bursts of trippy heaviness, and keeps the listener guessing all the way through. It’s weird, it’s wonderful, it’s El Moono. Which does mean the drifting wonder of Orbit feels like exactly what was needed at this stage of the album. It’s not comforting, the darkness of the hue makes sure of that, but it is another opportunity to take a gulping breath.

Needed, because what follows is so powerful, it will knock the breath out of you. First, there’s Phantom, which makes great use of retro-synth sounds, while also sounding unhinged. Then there is the aptly titled Screw Loose, and remember when I said you can groove to El Moono? Well, this might result in something more akin to ‘fitting’ but you’ll be moving none the less.

This is such a phenomenal album, you might find yourself hoping for something a bit more lacklustre, just so you can escape the tight grasp El Moono have on you. No such luck though (and let’s be honest, we don’t really want them to let go) as the pairing of Marionettes and Soul Eclipse bring the bulk of the album to a close in, predictably, brilliant fashion. The passion they exude is one thing, but how they continue to make everything sound so fresh right to the very end, is another.

An end that comes in the form of the 27-second Dusk, bookending the album in simple, but effective fashion.

This is going to be a tough album to top this year.

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El Moono – The Waking Sun Track Listing:

1. Dawn
2. Illusionist
3. The Waking Sun
4. The Charm
5. Haunting
6. Chains
7. The First Man On Mars
8. Orbit
9. Phantom
10. Screw Loose
11. Marionettes
12. Soul Eclipse
13. Dusk


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  • Carl Fisher

    Owner/Administrator/Editor/Writer/Interviewer/YouTuber - you name it, I do it. I love gaming, horror movies, and all forms of heavy metal and rock. I'm also a Discworld super-fan and love talking all things Terry Pratchett. Do you wanna party? It's party time!

El Moono - The Waking Sun (Lockjaw Records)
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