LUNAR - “The Illusionist”

By Iron Sheik

LUNAR is a progressive metal band from Sacramento, CA with sounds taken out of progressive rock like synth washes, woodwind instruments, lounge music stylings and even a momentary Indian music passage. They are heavy throughout with guests from WITHERFALL, HELION PRIME, SHINING, CALIGULA’S HORSE, and more. “The Illusionist” employs non-metal instruments like clarinet, flute, saxophone, violin and viola to great effect. All of this makes for an interesting journey through a magician's questions of whether or not his life's work was worth it.

Going back and forth between heavy and fast to slower intense songs, LUNAR is a tightly structured musical project led by Alex Bosson. LUNAR's other non-guest musicians are vocalist Chandler Mogel, guitarist Balmore Lemus and bassist Ryan Price. “The Magician” is quite an epic story inspired by the passing of Alex Bosson's friend and guitarist Ryan Erwin in 2018. Together they had created an EP and their first full length release “Theogeny”, a story about the nine muses of Greek mythology. Left to be the sole creator, Bosson has come up with an epic story that is an enthralling album. An album Bosson claims is he best work yet.

Opener “Prestidigitation” is an instrumental six minute piece that sets the stage of music virtuosity to come throughout the rest of the album's story. It has a whirlwind of sounds heavy and then mellow with a lounge music interlude. It sets things up for us to meet “The Illusionist” which is the name of track two. Ensuing songs take one on a journey through the mind of the magician and his regrets with spoken samples from the movie “The Illusionist” sprinkled throughout.

Single “Juggling Chainsaws” is a heavy piece with occasional growl vocals. This is music that I as the listener feel is inspired by the chaos of the magician's mind in this state. Mellowing out to it sounds like a possible decision, of sorts. "Not ready to die but afraid to live", the magician muses. Chaos results in the magician's next trick, “For My Next Trick”. For the album's exit we have “Now You See Me”. Is it the journey's conclusion or is it a new beginning?

Music is on the same level as DREAM THEATER, OPETH, or KATATONIA - well written, tight, and thought invoking. Music that takes one on a journey that reflects the rises and falls of thought and decision making. It is a whole album of music not like unlike PINK FLOYD's song “The Great Gig In The Sky” with a similar way of ebbing and flowing with emotion and illusion.