Ever wonder what would happen if you left Tosin Abasi (Animals as Leaders) alone with a Gameboy? In a way, we just found out with Danimal Cannon’s new album Lunaria, due to be released this Friday!
In short, Lunaria is a 12 song odyssey of incredible creativity, founded on great patience when it comes to programming and the uncanny musicianship of Dan Behrens (Weaponex, Armcannon).
Danimal Cannon is a chiptune project. For those unfamiliar, this means that the majority of the music you’ll hear on a chiptune album comes from classic video gaming systems. In this case, most of what you’ll hear on Lunaria comes from a Nintendo Gameboy.
I was very excited to review this piece, since we typically review albums that follow standard metal suit- a harsh vocalist, two guitarists, a bassist and a drummer. Thankfully, Dan Behrens was on board with this article, so let the analysis begin!
Lunaria kicks off with “Axis”, a 6+ minute epic full of intricacies and life. Mood wise, it’s very Animals As Leaders, which is a style impossible to argue with when it comes to talent. Even if you don’t give this album a full listen, I’d at the very least encourage you to check out the first track. Since its a longer and more complex song, it’s a great example of what Danimal Cannon and chiptune are all about.
Vocalist, Emily Yancey appears on 2 tracks, “Lunaria” and “Postlude”. Tone wise, her vocals remind of the English prog rock band, To-Mera, but there’s a certain innocence to her voice and I think she compliments the Gameboy samples and Danimal’s distorted guitars very well. “Lunaria” is a stronger sci fi soundtrack song reminiscent of the movie Short Circuit, while “Postlude” has an almost classical/folk vibe. One might call that one, “chipfolk?” All subgenres aside, this is truly one of the most interesting releases I’ve blogged about.
Other noteworthy tracks include “Red Planet”, which is perfectly named for it’s ’80s science fiction movie feel and has superb lead guitar work. The song “Surveillance” is also very impressive and has a nostalgic ’90s Nine Inch Nails vibe. The male vocals on this track really remind me of Trent Reznor’s earlier work during the verses.
The album concludes with a piano version of the first track, “Axis” featuring Shnabubula. He’s a chiptune artist from New York City named Samuel Ascher-Weiss with his own impressive catalog of video game inspired albums.
If we were cliche enough to use a rating system, I’d give Lunaria 8/10. I only say that because of the nature of the genre it represents. The majority of this album is pure cut and dry Gameboy samples, and while they are arranged beautifully, people who don’t gravitate towards this kind of music will have a hard time finding relief.
Thanks for checking out this review! Follow the links above and give all the artists mentioned a good listen. Avid music lovers who are unfamiliar with these artists will not regret it! On the other hand, if you’re loving Lunaria, don’t be shy about Danimal’s earlier work either!