Updated: Jan 19
Lunaria is the brainchild of Zaragoza, Spain native Daniel Guillén. A Classically trained Pianist and graduate in Hispanic Philology, he taught himself multiple instruments while drawing many influences from renowned musicians in the New Age, Komische, Psychedelic, and Sacred/Choral genres. After releasing a few full-lengths and E.P.s throughout the 2010s, Daniel has emerged with his newest Lunaria release, titled Asphodel Meadows.
Released on June 19, 2020 on Geology Records, Asphodel Meadows can be described as an ethereal journey into a lush, tranquil, soothing galaxy of Ambient brilliance. In Daniel's words, "the concept of the album was born as an imaginal journey around the Asphodel Meadows, a region of the underworld where, according to Homer, ordinary souls dwell like shadows or dreams. Judging by the rich soundscapes, refined timbre, and haunting yet alluring tonal character, Daniel's description of Asphodel Meadows is quite accurate.
"Umbra" opens the album with a hypnotic bed of rich, warm synths under a bed of chordal textures that subtly swell in and out. "Gates of Frequency" comes next with a juxtaposition of synth passages infused with organ-like overtones that have an angelic quality to them. The ambitious title track takes things on a more epic trek into the darker corners of the universe. Clocking in at 11 minutes, this composition weaves through many twists and turns as an eerie backdrop of warm pads is occasionally at tug of war by more unnerving sound effects and jarring electronic bursts that bring extraterrestrials, ghosts, and amorphous cosmic creatures to mind. Overall, it would fit perfectly as a transitory piece within any nightmarish alien film. Things significantly ease up as "Iranon" enters the picture. A more mellow, mournful approach is taken, as a pleasant synth drone - major in tonal quality yet dark in timbre - carries a far more serene, New Age atmosphere than its predecessor. "Forest of Shadows" treads on the same path; mellower, warmer pads accompanied with rain-like sounds weave in and out of the arrangement as a series of percussive chimes cloak the soundscapes. Next, we have the more enigmatic and epic "Lethe" come into the picture. With its washy, dense, and dense soundscapes, it takes the listener light years away from the current galaxy into a new atmospheric plane of existence. Finally, "Waking Light" concludes the album on a peaceful, contemplative note, leaving the listener with a sense of closure and relaxation. Treat yourself to a listen to Asphodel Meadows by Lunaria if you wish to be taken to another dimension in your psyche. It will take you on a journey through multiple dimensions of sonic depth while instilling a sense of ethereal warmth on your eardrums.