The name and
history of this Swedish band are totally new to many, so I must tell
you it's formed by ex-members of Puissance, Octinomous, Algaion, and
the Ark.. It's a particular debut, trying to break some boundaries and
create certain negative music scenarios; the aim is not always achieved,
but the effort is appreciable all of the time.
The opener "Vivid" moves on electronic bases, scratching,
menacious voices, then black misanthropical screams, but later it becomes
vocally and musically close to Placebo; great is the obsessive refrain,
repeated by a robotical voice.
Needless to say the keyboards play a major role on this record, as shown
in "Purge", opened by a sinister intro and based on
2 different kinds of vocals, both threatening and disturbing their way.
This song is perfect for a horror, thriller or even a sci-fi flick,
you can bet on that!
Every song is titled with only one word, and "Whore"
makes no exception; musically it can even be sided to the latest Gathering
("If then else" to be clear), but when the voice comes
out, you cannot but think about Placebo once again. A slow symphonic
song with hypnotic keyboards and guitar walls; sometimes the singer's
voice sounds too nasal and that's one of the few faults I can find in
Slow and calm is also "Alone", a smart composition
between Radiohead and Pink Floyd. Wonderful atmospheres you will find
here, lulled by the twin (male and female) vocals and the guitar.
In the beginning "Trust" is almost spoken and not sung,
then the vocals burst like in the opening track; galloping are the drums
in this lively song, Placebo-oriented; very good the refrain, the few
stopped guitars and the keys, this time a little in the background but
hugely expressive. One of the best tracks to my view, lively and convincing
under every aspect.
From the powerful rock guitars added to the pop layers of keyboards
of the title-track, we get to the strange symphonic soundscapes of "Mistress",
in which I find some vocals I wish I could hear sung better or reinforced
by some backing ones.
Simply marvellous the duo singing on the tender and melancholic piano
notes of "Carinou", closed by a strong attack guitar-drums,
which allows you to realize how much care was put into the writing and
arranging of the record.
Beats a là Aphex Twin mixed the best 80's electro-pop vocals
and keyboards textures compound "Chris", while the
closer "Dead" is gifted with lazy, perverted beats and sounds
anticipating the trip hop following; here you can forget any metal element
at all, but that doesn't mean the song suck of course.
As stated above, I didn't like all of the vocals, but the 90% of the
record touches elevated levels of quality and inspirations, albeit the
male vocalist (also guitarist and programmer Fredrik Soderlund) seems
to be Placebo's singer's secret twin brother. "Bound"
goes to fans of negative metal and decaying electropop with open minds;
diehard fans of each of these styles will not be satisfied as this CD
stands exactly on the middle of them without being inclined to one more
than another. Nice newcomers to be heard at the trial by fire of the
second CD in my opinion.
MARKUS GANZHERRLICH - 12/6/04