Forgotten Jewels – Moahni Moahna

Moahni Moahna – Temple of Life
Eternal Records/SMG Records 1994
All songs written, arranged and produced by Tommy Rehn and Henrik Flyman

Making your first impression on the world via the medium of music sure is a tricky thing to pull off for most bands. Countless are the records that are said to be “promising”, ”energetic” or “charmingly naive” and “not quite there yet”. And that last quote hits the proverbial bull´s eye. Most debuts consists of baby steps from artists that are trying out new things, experimenting with different recipies in order to find that special formula that one day, hopefully, will place this particular artist/band in the equivalent of rock´n´roll Valhalla.

And then there are exceptions to the rule.
Those bands that hit the ground running Usain Bolt-style. Those that are already, from the very first note played, ready to kick the listeners ears into willing submission.
Those that are ready on every level. The writing is spot on, arrangements, performances, mix and production all work in unison to give the audience what it wants.

Moahni Moahna was one of those bands.
When “Temple of Life” was released in 1994, grunge was all the rage so the oddly monickered swedish ensemble could not have been more out of fashion even if they tried. Their deliciously melodic and elegant hardrock that took inspiration from early Rainbow, traditional folkmusic with a slight neo-classical edge and ambitious arrangements were so far from the doom´n´gloom of the Seattlescene that it borders on parody. If you add to that lyrics that are more of the storyteller kind instead of the angst and anger variety, it is no surprise these youngsters did not sell out arenas.

They really should have though. For anyone into Rainbows epic side (Gates of Babylon, Stargazer etc) and to a lesser extent Axel Rudi Pell, this is a treasure trove of gigantic proportions. Amazing vocalist Martin Högström delivers the lyrics with a passion and power that is simply staggering. The main composers and guitarists, Henrik Flyman and Tommy Rehn are both supremely skilled players and offers a truckload of sweet harmonies and blistering leads while always keeping the songs themselves in focus.

I could rattle on for ages about the individual songs as all of them are quite phenomenal but I have to give a shout out to “The Quest For The Unholy Sword”, the exquisite instrumental titletrack, “On The Edge of Time” and the rousing closing track “Eternal Slaves”. This is one of those albums that I keep coming back to over and over again so at least a couple of times a year I revisit this mostly forgotten gemstone and marvel at just how brilliant it is. If you can find a physical copy I heartily recommend picking that up if you have the means. Otherwise do check them out on Spotify or Youtube, see links below.

9,5 Unholy Swords out of 10
Peace and pompous prog!/
Marty Methusalah Nygren

Forgotten Jewels – Moahni Moahna

April 3, 2020

Amazing vocalist Martin Högström delivers the lyrics with a passion and power that is simply staggering. The main composers and guitarists, Henrik Flyman and Tommy Rehn are both supremely skilled players and offers a truckload of sweet harmonies and blistering leads while always keeping the songs themselves in focus.

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