MANUEL BARBARÁ - Moonrise
Genre: Instrumental Progmetal
Release Date: March 19th 2021
Finding inspiration in a wide range of classical, neoclassical as well as contemporary artists and bands, New Jersey based guitarist and composer MANUEL BARBARÁ managed to find his very own style and sound over the years. Seven instrumental progmetal songs are now set to release on his debut album “Moonrise” (March 19th 2021). Besides the guitar wizard himself, you can also hear Nick Thorpe on bass and drummer Joey Ferretti. The music is supposed to draw the listeners in and invites them to experience new worlds. Let’s take a closer look and join the trio on this adventure.
When I started listening to “Moonrise”, MANUEL BARBARÁ got me already before the first song was over. The epic title track features some Periphery-inspired riffs, pushed forward by the powerful rhythmic, and the beautiful piano parts bring in something special. “The God Complex” opens in a peaceful mood, then comes up with dark, heavy shredding, that stands in contrast to the bright sounds. By the way, this is the only piece on “Moonrise” with a true guitar solo. Song No3, “Children of Prometheus”, continues with a similar vibe, but always in a great variety and with impressive, complex song structures.
“Mirrors I – Image” slows down the tempo, without losing the pressure. Dissonant parts with choppy rhythmic patterns come across a beautiful melody, which returns in variations over the whole song. The following “Mirrors II – Silver” is the most experimental track and offers something mystical, which reminds of deep caves or forgotten places. Being the counterpart to “Mirrors I”, "Mirrors III - Reflection" comes up with a dark and aggressive sound. As the song was originally inspired by Dante’s Inferno, the slowly evolving riffs give a feeling of descending into and then rising from the abyss.
The album ends with “The Nightmare Weaver”, which shows once more MANUEL BARBARÁ’s high technical skills and song-writing abilities. Epic riffs, weird and ambiguous chord progression, constantly shifting tonal centers… you can get them all here.
I have to admit that the cover artwork by Annie Tohill appeared a bit unusual to me at the beginning. But after having spent some time with “Moonrise”, I realized how this graphic reflects the music in a great way with its darkness, the moon in the centre, and the jagged, pulsating reflections on the ground. “Moonrise” is a great listening adventure for me, as the songs are complex and sophisticated, but always well-composed and in a good flow. The driving, yet varied rhythmic brings in an amazing energy. The guitar playing is fantastic and indeed creates very own sound worlds: often dark, but brightened by gleaming, mystical soundscapes. This album is modern, instrumental progmetal at its finest, and if you’re into artists like Periphery or Paul Wardingham, you should join MANUEL BARBARÁ on his journey.
Manuel Barbará – Guitars, Programming
Nick Thorpe - Bass
Joey Ferretti - Drums
2. The God Complex
3. Children of Prometheus
4. Mirrors I - Image
5. Mirrors II - Silver
6. Mirrors III - Reflection
7. The Nightmare Weaver
Moonrise - 2021