Neil Purdy of LUNA’S CALL on new progressive-death album ‘VOID’.

Luna’s Call are down as early Opeth meets Dream Theatre, a combination that could go in all sorts of directions, so it is with some curiosity that we acted on a tip-off from Listenable records of France on this latest progressive-death signing. How does this latest album match up to the press? Well, the journey on ‘Void’ begins fairly brutally, sounding indeed like early Opeth, but also with bits of classic Emperor, with themes becoming more broad and proggy in the middle of the album, sounding like later Opeth, and maybe stuff like Japan’s Sigh, but at times it’s almost like you’re listening to Rush, Van Der Graaf Generator, or Camel or something. Later track ‘In Bile They Bathe’ is classic Hoffman-era death though, so there is plenty here – in fact it’s pretty impossible to write about it without listing lots of bands, and it does sometimes seem like a pastiche of all their favourites ( and you do wonder whether they’re smuggling in all sorts of motifs just to see how far they can push it? ) but let’s just say it’s tied together pretty seamlessly anyway, it makes for a good, credible listen, and if they haven’t got one already, there’s a future ahead of them in the music industry, either as a band, or as session musicians. Also, they’re from England, which shouldn’t be relevant, but I can’t help feeling impressed. But are they cool enough for you? Or are they just going to turn out to be a bunch of musos hanging around Oslo jazz cafes stroking their chins? Well, they’ve pretty much knocked out a landmark album, I reckon, so it doesn’t matter. We catch up with Neil to find out what’s going on in Progressive Death Lane, Lincoln, England, UK.

Who are Luna’s Call, and how long have you been at this? 

Hello Scott! We are a four piece progressive death metal band from Lincolnshire, UK. 

The band initially started as a solo project whilst at University. During the recording of our first album Divinity, I asked Brad & James (my housemates at the time) if they would like to record the bass and drum parts. After our parts had been recorded, we decided to turn the project into a fully fledged band

Our first gig was back in May 2012, when we were just a three piece. Many years later, while taking part in Bloodstock’s Metal 2 the Masses competition, we saw Liam (guitar) performing with his other band and knew he’d be a perfect fit for Luna’s Call.

Well, you released Void last year, and I guess it’s done pretty well already? How does it feel, so far? And what’s happening with Listenable Records?

We’re incredibly proud of Void and the progress it has made since it’s self-release in August 2020. Due to the pandemic, the forced break away from practicing and performing gave us the opportunity to focus heavily on our online presence, preparation for the self-release and promoting the album. 

So far, Listenable Records have digitally released the album which will be followed by a CD & 2LP release late April in the EU and mid May in the US. We’re very excited to have joined forces with Listenable and look forward to our future with them. 

How did you arrange the album? Perhaps it it is driven by a concept, or text?

Void was written with a vinyl release in mind and that’s how the tracklisting was arranged. This helped us with the flow of the album, we were always thinking about which tracks would end each side of the vinyl and which would introduce the next.

The lyrical themes surround different aspects of the human race. These include experiences within my own life that happened before and during the writing process. We loved the idea of telling some of these stories from an off-world perspective. The additional layers of synths and keyboards we were using helped inspire the lyrical writing and imagery of space. 

Were you the guys sitting in guitar shops noodling modal scales over and over, or tapping 7 over 4 with your knife and fork at the dinner table? You’ve invested a lot of time in this I guess?

For me personally, it was the opposite of the guitar shop scenario. It was more a case of playing guitar in my room with headphones on and hoping no one could hear me!

We’ve played in many different bands together over the years, even back to when we were teenagers. It started as jamming in garages, moved to music college and then to University.

All four of us attended Brighton Institute of Modern Music to learn more about our instruments and the music business (that was the idea anyway). 

As our music contains technical elements and with today’s high standard of musicianship in modern metal, it is important that we invest as much time as we can practising together and individually. 

What other bands in the genre, worldwide, do you recommend? Are there any other UK bands?

There are lots of progressive death metal bands coming from the USA and that’s where most of our listeners are from (according to Spotify). 

UK metal bands that we are currently listening to are; Conjurer, Embodiment, Countless Skies and Ageless Oblivion. We actually don’t listen to much progressive metal compared to other genres but bands like; Rannoch, Spires (who are no longer together unfortunately) and Wills Dissolve are incredible!

How has feedback been? Void seems to be a milestone album for the genre, would you say?

We have been overwhelmed with the incredible reviews we have received. Calling Void a milestone album for progressive death metal probably isn’t our place to say but it certainly is a milestone for us.

You are somewhat ‘cross-curricular’ and could probably play on any diverse bill or festival, and still get a good reception. So what is the dream for Luna’s Call? What bands would you like to play with? Do you care about musical scenes, particularly?

Our dream/goal (for now) would be to support an artist/band on a UK tour such as Between the Buried and Me or Ihsahn. Even just getting back to playing gigs in a post-Covid world would be great. We’d love the opportunity to play with the bands that we previously mentioned; Countless Skies, Embodiment & Rannoch – That would be an awesome line up!

Whilst the local music scene is still important to us, we’re finding it harder to attend smaller shows on a regular basis due to work and family life.

To end, what would you say to your fans, and what would you say to possible fans who have never heard you?

We’re very grateful to everyone who has been listening to our music, attending our shows and buying our merchandise. It means the absolute world to us.

To those who haven’t checked us out –  if you’re into death metal with proggy elements, bands like Black Crown Initiate and Exist, then you might like us too!

‘Void’ is out on Listenable Records EU: 30/04/21, US: 14/05/21.

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