Poland’s Moanaa are a lot like a bulldozer that’s in park. The engine might rev a lot but it’s not going anywhere. For as heavy as “Passage” is, the riffs are rather basic and often the band just plays the same riff either louder or softer. Some of the riffs, like on “Crystal,” sound like a riff that lead to other riffs. You know the type? But that BIG following riff never comes.
In fact, many times the band just gets quieter and louder again without taking things to another level. The two part opener “The Process” is pummeling at times but it just feels like the same thing over and over, at different volumes. They clearly are influenced by Neurosis and even Tool but unlike those bands, the songs just aren’t good enough. This is not to say that Moanaa aren’t talented. On the contrary, they SOUND great but after a while you start wondering when things are going to happen.
“Terra Mater” actually comes to a complete stop before it goes into a seemingly unrelated acoustic outro. I wish it was used more effectively because it is a nice piece, it just has no real pay off. “The Shift” is my favorite track because the main riff, though repetitive, is a really good one. Vocalist K-vass has a really good harsh vocal but his clean vocal needs a little work.
If you like progressive sludge metal, you might get the new Neurosis album. If you like that band, Moanaa might still have something to offer you. I think they have a lot of potential but this isn’t their first album so perhaps this is the sound.
2.The Process, Part I
3.The Process, Part II