New Jersey’s guitarist Manuel Barbará released his seven-track instrumental album Moonrise on March 19th 2021. The full-length is the first introduction of heavy, ambient, and classically inspired progressive metal by Barbará who is the sole songwriter of this project.
He shares more insight into the record with his latest guitar play-through video for the track “The God Complex”, which is heavily inspired by guitar gods Jeff Loomis and Keith Merrow. The composition blends heavy guitars and tribal drum patterns with light cinematic and electronic elements. It is also the only piece on the album to have a true guitar solo. Check out the guitar play-through for “The God Complex” below.
“The drums for God Complex were tracked during a 7:00 pm to 5:00 am session nearly a month after we recorded the drums for the rest of the album. To this day, I don’t know how I managed to go to work to teach music theory the next day.”
Barbará took up the guitar at the age of 16 and managed to successfully audition for Berklee at age 18. The debut album Moonrise is a unique piece of music, much of the writing was done during the very early days of his training in classical composition. For Barbará, this work is a journey through a series of sonic worlds and colors that he has carefully crafted. He comments on the album:
“This music has been part of my own little universe for so long, and I am beyond excited to share it with the world. The process of making the album has been an epic journey, a learning experience, and a trial by fire all wrapped into one and I am looking forward to bringing that journey to an audience, and into the future with the music that is to come.
The purpose of music for me, after all the craft and technique and study are done, is to draw the listeners in and allow them to experience totally new worlds. The details of those worlds will be up to each individual person, but I hope the audience will join me on this small adventure I’ve prepared.”
According to Barbará, these songs, so far, were only ever performed live once and are not likely to be performed again for some time due to the COVID-19 pandemic. However, he makes an effort during his live performances to avoid the “musical statues” syndrome that plagues so many prog bands.
Moonrise Track Listing:
2. The God Complex
3. Children of Prometheus
4. Mirrors I – Image
5. Mirrors II – Silver
6. Mirrors III – Reflection
7. The Nightmare Weaver