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Killer CDs: Moments in Grace - "Moonlight Survived" 
By Brad Podray

Very often in the life of a music reviewer, it is a struggle to come up with an opening statement to begin a CD review.  Thankfully, this is not one of those times:

A band called Moments in Grace has released an album called "Moonlight  Survived" and it is simply fantastic.

This is pop-rock laced with skilled musicianship, incredibly competent songwriting, guitar and bass that demonstrate picturesque melodies that you won't get out of your head even with a nine iron, resonating rhythms, and vocals that simply shatter the seemingly unbreakable mold of modern pop rock.   Imagine if all of the members of Iron Maiden had younger versions of themselves, armed with a pop-friendly mentality, who decided to gear up and take on the world of music in 2004 and you'll get an inkling of what Moments of Grace sounds like.  The heart of power-metal and the glorious return of high-pitched dignified male vocals rear their heads throughout this album.  

The soundscapes on this album form bright, thick pictures subtlety glazed over by 80s influence, but not 80s influence done in a campy way that is stupid and serves only to distract from the fact that your band members aren't very good musicians(I'm looking at you, The Darkness).  Don't believe me?  Check out tracks 2 and 4("The Patient" and "My Dying Day" respectively) and I challenge you not to tell me that the opening lines to The Patient(track 2 for those of you with bad memories and forgot already) don't sound like an ultra-catchy Iron Maiden opening while My Dying Day shows the same skills grazed over by a shot of emo-pop influence(attention: don't let the word "emo" turn you off from checking this album out.  I'm not complimenting the emo influence as much as simply acknowledging that it's there.)    The album is diverse, speeding up and slowing down without losing so much as an ounce of energy or feeling.  From the ultra groovy "The Blurring Lines of Loss" to the lighter sentiments of "The Past," Moonlight Survived proves itself to be a very non-formulaic album indeed.  

Note: Just because I'm not mentioning the other tracks doesn't mean that they are any worse than these.  "Stratus," the title track, has a perfect radio-catchiness and "Morning Light" shows off some great melodies.   

Important note: This is a pop-rock band.  For a band that's clearly going to go for widespread appeal, it seems that there's a little too much diversity in the album and a little too much musicianship.  The biggest fear that this reviewer has is that the music will actually be too good for the top 40-obsessed audience to grasp.  But if they do catch, the reviewer can only rejoice for it'll mean that the radio may eventually start to no longer be the enemy.  It won't change things, but it'll be one step in the right direction.  Capsule Statement:  This is fantastic pop rock.  Screw Nickelback, 3 Days Grace, whoever is on top at the time when I type this...If there's any justice in the world, Moments in Grace will become a household name as opposed to the aforementioned dumb bastards.

Sure to please: Pop rock fans who aren't idiots.

Sure to disappoint: Members of Nickelback, Linkin Park, etc.  They'll be out of a job soon.

CD Info 

Moments in Grace - "Moonlight Survived"
Label: Atlantic
Patient, The
Broken Promises
My Dying Day
We Feel The Songs
My Stunning Bride
Distant And Longing Light
Blurring Lines Of Loss, The
No Angels
Don't Leave
Past, The
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