I’ve enjoyed following Moanaa’s development over the years, from 2014’s Descent, to 2016’s atmospheric Passage, and then 2019’s EP Torches. Of the latter, the first track on Torches reappears on Embers.
On Embers Moanaa deliver 41 minutes of material. The band continue to develop their atmospheric sludge/progressive/post-metal style, offering up six songs that span crushing sludge heaviness to ethereal post-metal resplendence. These new tracks are generally heavier and more direct than those of Passage, yet retain some of the atmospheric lessons learned on that release to lay the foundations for the more textured and nuanced sections of Embers. There’s also a post-black metal feel in places, especially in some of the faster moments.
Moanaa’s music is mood-based, building atmosphere with well-crafted songs that take the listener on a journey. When the band truly unleash their sludge metal side they embody a single-minded approach to massive riffs and belligerent confidence. Their skill comes from then ably and easily transitioning from this into moments of rich melody and multifaceted emotive presence. Or vice versa, of course, where they build an atmospheric world of introspective beauty, only to then burn it all down with prime sludge aggression.
Embers is another very strong album from Moanaa. It continues the band’s evolution, drawing from their previous work, yet moving their sound forward in a focused, rewarding way.
Make sure that you check this out. Very highly recommended for all post-metal fans.