Moongazer is the second album by the four-piece stoner rock powerhouse from Italy, TENEBRA. The band had already made waves on the scene with their debut album 'Gen Nero' before delivering 'What We Do is Sacred' their debut EP for New Heavy Sounds last year, 3 killer tracks that were but a taster of things to come.
Moongazer takes the story a stage further with nine slabs of crushing fuzzed up grooves, fuelled by 70's proto metal, hard rock, punk, psych-blues and noise, loaded with great riffs and melody and topped off by gutsy soulful vocals.
Musically, you could say that TENEBRA occupy similar musical terrain to bands such as Graveyard, Witchcraft, Kadaver and other bands of that ilk, but TENEBRA are very much their own beast. They have all the chops of course, but are musically less slavish, often adding a twist that keeps the songs fresh and now.
There's also very little reliance on Sabbath-isms (apart from one cheeky nod) and though occult rock is also part of the vibe, the music steers well clear of the cliches. In fact the band bring a clutch of left field influences into their melting pot as well, from June of 44 and Love Battery to the Misfits and the psych grunge of Screaming Trees, much of it in evidence on this new album.
Of the four members, Claudio (bass), Emilio (guitar) and Mesca (drums) came from the hardcore and post-hardcore squat scene that gathered around Bologna, whereas their formidable vocalist Silvia (the youngest of the crew) is immersed in the underground rock of the '60s and' 70s. When you hear her sing you’ll know where she’s coming from as she has one helluva rock voice, laced with whiskey, smoke, grit, late nights and a whole lotta soul.
Think Maggie Bell meets Betty Davis with a smattering of Gillan, and you'll be in the right ballpark. So what you get with 'Moongazer' is a band revelling in the spirit of 70's rock rather than recreating it. MOONGAZER is without doubt an accomplished sophomore release that deserves to be heard and appreciated, purely because, though it may appear to reside in the world of stoner, it is so much more.
1. Heavy Crusher
2. Cracked Path
3. Black Lace
4. Carry My Load
5. Winds Of Change
7. Space Child
8. Dark And Distant Sky
9. Moon Maiden