Danimal Cannon’s 2011 album Roots was one of the albums that got me into chiptune music (although other Ubiktune releases certainly contributed to that as well) and remains one of my favorite albums still. Danimal’s new album Lunaria contains the same familiar upbeat gameboy programmed chiptunes paired with prog metal guitar riffs, but on a whole new level.
What sets this album apart from past Danimal albums is the fact that the songs were composed on guitar first, with the chiptunes composed around those guitar parts. Also new to Lunaria, is the addition of vocals on a few of the tracks. Emily Yancey adds quite a bit of energy to the title track with her soaring vocals that really get me to crank up the volume. Hatsune Miku also makes an appearance as the vocaloid on “Long Live The New Fresh.” Danimal himself sings on the track Surveillance with some surprisingly heavy vocals.
There are lots of great heavy moments on this album, one of my favorites being the track “Behemoth” which immediately bombards you with awesome riffs and intense chiptune drums. The guitar fits right into this track and you almost can’t differentiate it from the chiptunes as they are melded together perfectly.
Lunaria also ventures towards other genres which really adds some variety to the music. The track “Postlude” has a soothing lounge jazz style and is actually a variation of the chiptune track “Interlude” but using real instruments.
The final track, which is a beautiful piano rendition of the opening track “Axis” played by Shnabubula closes off the album wonderfully. Overall this is a wonderful album with lots to offer to fans of any kind of music. Chiptune may seem like a niche genre that only video game nerds can get into, but when paired with the expert instrumentality and composition that Danimal provides, the result is something definitely worth your time.
A promotional copy of the album was provided for this review.