Recension: Grand Mal x – Darkness

grandmalxdarknessNågonting som gör Grand Mal x till en hörnsten i alternativ elektronisk musik är hans ständigt utvecklande, rörliga ljudmiljö som är något av hans signum. Från poppigare låtar till mörkare, så rör han sig från ett tema till ett helt annat i en mängd olika släpp. Att få nöjet att släppa några låtar på ett samlingssläpp är få förunnat, men ant-zen verkar ha lagt beslag på denna starkt lysande stjärna i en dunkel elektronisk himmel.

MedDarkness” är mycket sig likt men än mer är föränderligt, det som är positivt är de svenska titlarna, trots att merparten av musiken är på engelska ser man nästan fram emot ett par ord på svenska – även om det inte blir till.

Ut ur mörkret kryper en väldigt osannolik kombination av mörkare popnostalgi ihopblandat i en koncentrerad låt vid namn “Nights“, en bra öppningslåt som inte lämnar något att önska. Från rörligheten i synthslingorna till de dängande trumslingorna som snärjer dig direkt, du kastas in i tematiken som ombesörjs i detta album – man förstår nästan vad det handlar om direkt.

Flamma” är som en låt någon ur kollektivet Ascetic House hade kunnat släppt, det är en väldigt låg och suggestiv miljö där allt det experimentella släpps ut för att förlusta sig på det andra, i början påminner det om ett intro till någon sludge rock-låt eller en psykedelisk dänga som kunde befunnit sig inom ramarna för dessa genrer. Man dras med under ytan och sopas till, gång på gång. Låten känns mer underskön, mer äkta på något sätt än den föregående.

Stjärndamm“, den tredje låten på detta album påminner om något som likväl kunde ha varit musik till en spännande nivå på något spel från ett annat årtioende. Spänningen förhöjs av den konstanta rytmiska klang som trummorna lämnar efter sig, det är en okompromisslös slakt av de mest känsliga ljudhinnor. Ibland känns det som att han tar ut svängarna lite väl, men det är de mäktiga synthslingorna i kombination med ambitionen att skapa en fläckfri atmosfär som förhöjer musiken.

Ur Källan Och Ritualer Därav” är den låt som är minst spännande hittills, även om de subtila tonerna fångar en så finns det en hel del grejer som minst sagt känns malplacerade. Som en kosmisk maelström, som en knepig människas inre tankar och vibrationer, en skrämmande insyn till det som väntar utanför. Även om det kan kännas exotiskt i vissa fall, så är det mer som en mellanakt som inte hör hemma på albumet.

The Reaper” är elektroniskt funkig, med enstaka passager som påminner om de vrickade skallar i Vanligt Folk när deras sång kommer in och rubbar hela ljudlandskapet, i frontalkrock med dina sinnen. Basslingorna i denna låt är det som är bäst, de gör att allting skälver och att ingenting står still, de är mystiska och letar sig ut genom de vidöppna springorna i denna genomruttna kåk – den metafysiska varelsens sista gömställer öppnas upp, ut kommer ljudvågor du aldrig trodde du skulle få höra – sinnesrubbat.

Essence” är en spännande låt som känns som en kombination av L’Avenirs mer poppiga alster och mystiken bakom Person:A och hans musik, en kombination av det bästa två andra artister har att erbjuda, men givetvis något helt eget och skilt – även om passager av denna låt melodiskt kan tänkas blandas in där med. Sången är vacker och orden levereras med mening – något som kan saknas i vissa delar av andra låtar på albumet. En av favoritlåtarna på detta album.

Black Book” är vad “Ur Källan Och Ritualer Därav” samt “Flamma” borde blivit om de kombinerats, om vissa onödiga ljudkällor hade skalats av helt och hållet. Mörker, åter mörker som får representera titeln på albumet och som representerar det väldigt väl. Det som är höljt i dunkel, det som letar sig fram i de mörkaste av vrår och som vid ett perfekt tillfälle lockas fram, människans inre och okontrollerbara natur.

Men även bland lager av misantropi kan man hitta en strimma av ljus, någonstans därinne finns det en strimma av hopp, även om det känns avlägset. Hoppfullheten letar sig in i rytmen och håller fast den mot de mer långsamma delar i låten.

A Star For Everyone” har jag nöjet att ha haft på ett helt orelaterat släpp, det är en av de bästa låtarna jag hört med Grand Mal x, det är ingenting nytt utan något äldre men det är helheten med låten som gör att den är så spännande. Hela tiden finns det något att fästa öronen på och något att hänga med i, låten är inte lika lång och som många andra på albumet och behöver inte vara det heller. Grand Mal x i komprimerat men välkomponerat format.

Albumet i sig är en representation av mycket bra som han gett ifrån sig, men även en hel del mindre bra låtar och en hel del som bara är okej. Så länge mer än en låt är bra på ett album så kan man konstatera att det duger – helheten avslöjar att potentialen att nå högre är något han har siktet inställt på. Köp och lyssna här nedanför, via ant-zen.

 

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Upcoming release on Repartiseraren: Listerlandet

Grand Mal x side-project Listerlandet will receive its first proper release, in exclusive form, from Repartiseraren in late October 2018. The release is planned to be in a limited edition of chromes cassettes with full on-body printing as per usual, obi-strips, metallic printing for logos and tracklists plus the title of the release. There will also be a limited edition luxury hardback digipak CD with an outer linen cover.

Each of these physical releases will come with a different track and with different covers, only available via Repartiseraren. SkandinavianSpeed will have exclusive access to the digital release itself.

A music-video has been created by Karl Ture Rydby himself, you get a firsthand look and feel for one of the tracks featured on the release, “Nätet läggs i skymningen“. Down below is a short presentation of the release itself:

Listerlandet is located in the outskirts. Classic, okkult dubby tekno with ambience and esoteric folklore for higher spheres and inner search. This Autumn on cassette, CD with linen cover (Repartiseraren) and digital (SkandinavianSpeed, coming label).

Exclusive Premiere: Eidulon – The Hierarchy Of The Inner Planes (feat. Naxal Protocol And Nordvargr)

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This is one of the most interesting releases coming up on Malignant Records this year, Italy’s Eidulon unleashes a brutal combination of dark ambient and apocalyptical orchestral music – a combination that is rare to hear – within the forthcoming release “Combustioni“. It has been a long time since we last supported Malignant Records, but that’s only because there have been no room for more then a year to get a hold of something from their releases – we blame ourselves for that, rightfully so.

Now we’re bringing you one of the most fearsome collaborations this year, Eidulon utilizes the help of Naxal Protocol for a noise-oriented, crackling atmosphere – layered beneath the might of Nordvargr’s vocals that crush through everything. In collaboration with Malignant Records we’re pleased to bring you “The Hierarchy Of The Inner Planes (feat. Naxal Protocol And Nordvargr)“, taken from the forthcoming CD-release on the 25th of March.

If you haven’t already pre-ordered this release, make sure you do and fetch the CD as well when it is available. You can stream the song exclusively via Repartiseraren’s soundcloud weeks before the release is out, down below.

 

Listen: DECADES / FAILURES, BURA BURA, Soft Riot

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Though the cover is too macabre for our taste, as the once beautiful woman have been thoroughly manipulated into looking as a piece of modern art – which in itself is very distasteful – DECADES / FAILURES musical aspect trumps everything else. As written in the description for the release, this piece of music was mastered in all haste, only using meager methods of recording – such as a blown speaker – all-in-all it adds more then it takes away from the music.

A bed-ridden and sickly vibe transformed into brazen post-punk, with an atmosphere of chords that are simply otherworldly together with the heavily distorted vocals. There’s a hopelessness that can be found in the lyrics and the general mood of each song, especially “Song 5” – but as a closing song it manages to ooze with hope, a light shining through in our darkest moments. Had this been mastered a bit more, or maybe been recorded in a different setting – it quickly would’ve lost its inner message and tone.

Listen to the release in full down below, buy it digitally to support the artist, so this can hopefully be made into a cassette.

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Uncompromising body-music turned into a mish-mash of new beat industrial greatness, Australian outfit BURA BURA manages to catch a depth which is overlooked within electronic body music, as his heavily transformed vocals bounce against the complex percussion in each song. A lot of the songs would fit better in a cinematic setting, but some of them are outright ridiculously great to listen to in some parts, especially “Flex Like Rex“.

Ironically enough, what he manages to pull off best is the neo-noir vibe of post-punk lewdness and electronic body madness – not so much with the more electro and industrial-influenced tracks – a catastrophic mess of blends and meshes that need to be more thoroughly tested for the forthcoming releases. The passages of swirling ambient that takes you into new heights of your own consciousness is frightening at first, but when the beats whirl around your head and you go further down the tunnel, there’s nothing anyone can do to stop it.

The release is available both digitally, and on cassette via Moontown Records. If you’re into it, you can also purchase one of the totebags specifically made for this release. Just follow the link through bandcamp down below.

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Soft Riot have long been one of our favorite artists, as he dabbles with the most comedic aspects of synth-pop music – but manages to keep a straight face through everything – delivering complex and atmospheric synthesizer music – especially in this new release, “The Outsider In The Mirror“. When it comes to the lyrics of some of these songs, he reveals how much talent it takes to create such imaginative lyrical content – whilst keeping the music in tune with everything he utters. It might not be the prettiest voice in the world, but there’s a sinister tone in his voice, there’s a sincerity being delivered with every word.

Waiting For Something Terrible To Happen” is a spastic ambush, a ticking clock of weirdness and anticipation, delivering catchy arpeggios and creative outbursts of heavy, deep electronic vibes. Even though it might not be some of this best releases of all time, it is a more cheerful and less moody vibe to this, a sense of belonging is shown between the lines of tongue-in-cheek lyrical brazenness. We’re eager to hear more of this, even though he’s heading in a very experimental yet freakishly pop-oriented direction.

The release is available for purchase via Possession Records, digitally, on CD, vinyl and cassette. You can purchase it below by following the bandcamp-link, or simply stream until you make your mind up.

Listen: Grand Mal x – Darkness

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Harrowing, eclectic dance music for those who appreciate the esoteric. Grand Mal x surprise us with another release, in companionship with Michael Idehall whose music can be related in one way or another to this project musically, but they deal with the concepts differently. What is most enjoyable when listening to “Darkness” is the complex synthesizers that pin angelic towards demonic – sin against the good – a constant battle between what is right and what is wrong.

Stjärndamm” is our favorite song on this release, with a purposeful barrage of basedrums that hammer into your consciousness, the dreariness of the atmosphere consumes you as it progresses – or regresses. There are some beautiful chords laden from the synthesizer as well, together with second long samplings that pierce through the malevolence of it all – though the concept of it seems beautiful when you utter the title, but the music itself suggests something different.

A thoroughly complacent album, a deep insight to everything that shaped and formed Grand Mal x from before – concentrated into a roller-coaster of emotions, messages and sublimity. There are facets you don’t recognize once you hear it the first time, as in “Black Book” which was co-written with Mattias Ivarsson, a very different song that detaches from the release as a whole, but knits it finely together with “A Star For Everyone” – a song also featured on our own compilation “Volume 2 – It Will Never Be The Same“.

Buy the CD from the Ant-Zen mailorder, or purchase the digital release below while you’re streaming the release anyway.

Review: Rope Sect – Personae Ingratae / Proselytes (CD)

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Caligari Records have been a favorite of mine since some time back. Always on top with new releases, always on point with the darker themed musical styles (mainly metal) – everything is allowed if it is contained within these limits – and they don’t do a half-arsed job at it. The proprietor of the label was kind enough to send a physical edition of the release about to be reviewed, and we’re glad to finally be able to listen through and critique an item from their discography.

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Unfortunately to our own dismay, the case was slightly damaged with what seems to be small cuts on the front of it. The CD itself was not damaged but the plastic attachment which keeps the CD in place was in half, thus there was no use for it at all – thanks to our wonderful shipping company PostNord – who seems to take much joy in making sure that shipments arrive as damaged as possible, unless packed very tight and secure.

 

The aesthetic aspect of Personae Ingratae / Proselytes

Aesthetically the whole package, despite it being a standard jewelcase, is really magnificent to look at. The booklet comes with lyrics for each song, and at the end of it (pictured) there’s a very well-drawn image of a man which could resemble any statue from ancient Greece, holding a rope which yields a perfect representation of the band’s name. Just beside the man is a tightly knit rope, where the words “Venerate the rope! Fear The Rope!” is written beneath it. Makes for a very sinister impression.

The decorative‘ aspect of this release is what makes it, though the fonts are somewhat off-putting except on the front of the CD where it almost seems to be sketched out rather then digitally put there – even though, in the end, part of that dimension as well. You know very well what kind of genre it ought to be by looking at it, even though you might not be able to place the sub-genres, which is a slightly ambiguous touch that makes it even better. Shows how much can be done aesthetically without the release having to be more then a jewelcase.

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The musical aspect of Personae Ingratae / Proselytes

Rope Sect as a band is a trio, consisting of ‘Inmesher‘ (guitars, drums & vocals), ‘Harbinger‘ (bass) and ‘Gaarentwynder‘ (additional guitars). The release is a compilation, a combination of their first EP released by Caligari Records on cassette, “Personae Ingratae“, and their double-single “Proselytes” released on vinyl by Iron Bonehead Productions. We want to make it perfectly clear that we haven’t heard these releases in their physical format, therefore we can’t do any comparisons and if we had we wouldn’t any way because it would only make sense as that instead.

Fallen Nation” starts off with an ominously sounding German quotation in sound sampled from somewhere, heck knows where. Then what could be described as some crossover between metal and punk, but without the -core in it. Somehow it reminds us of a better, less outdrawn version, maybe heavier in certain aspects – later Katatonia. If they had mingled with Jawbreaker, but without the cheesy lyrics. It is hard-hitting, straight up emotional and there is where the first comparison is drawn, out of a sense of nostalgia and not so much musically – even though some of it is similar, in terms of melody.

It feels weird that a first track on a release can be so addicting. A perfect cocktail of nihilistic tendencies together with a dim, bright light of hope in the end of the tunnel. The drums are muddy, distorted and together with the guitar work and baseline create a malformed, rowdy atmosphere – which is then smacked together with clean vocals. The vocalist is really talented, he pulls off such an emotional but assertive tone in the way he articulates each word, lyrically.

The second song “Tarantist” ups the instruments a notch in terms of how the solos, the riffs and the overall rhythm is concerned. Sure, much of it is similar with the first song, but it has a more deathrock-ish vibe over the atmosphere, perfect for a December’s evening like this. We find ourselves digging more to this song, even though the first one had its perfectly laden harmonics. The psychedelic edge in some of the riffs are absolutely glorious in all their simplicity – they manage to bridge to the chorus in a down-tempo – to maniacal uptempo after a few seconds, so effortlessly.

Even though it makes no sense in text at all, the most powerful lyrical content in this song is when the singer calmly but ominously proclaims: “We’re gonna die – why?“, it hits so close to home that it almost frightens. It is so existential in a beautiful way – yet it gives you an unobjectionable push into the grim realities of life, which isn’t as romantically charged as the notion of living forever either as a memory in the past, or resurrected in the future.

Pretty Life” heads in a different, more downtempo way that has a lot in common with atmospheric black metal, instead of the punk (and sub-genres of it) overtones that dominate on this record so far. Too bad that it is so repetitive and doesn’t really cast a good light on the vocalist as it has done with the uptempo, more aggressive songs before this one. Sure, some moments are great as when the more ‘acoustically’-oriented passages that add an upswing to an otherwise not that interesting song.

Some facets of it can be intriguing to listen to but it is not what we’re expecting after we’ve listened to Rope Sect, we’re sorry to say that. If anything, the abrupt ending is in a class of itself, since this song doesn’t need to be more outdrawn and killed right away. Don’t get it wrong, it is not a bad song per se, but it is an OK song in comparison with the other two which set the standard very high.

King Of The Night” remind us, in a good way, what the commercially successful band Ghost would’ve been if they hadn’t sold out from the get go. Rope Sect is like the better version of what the ideal would’ve been with that band, even though it was dead from the get go, really. A really trashing song from the get go which includes the better parts of good death metal, with the melodically oriented stance that actually, by now, defines their music for us.

Not to mention the classic rock’n’roll vibe coming out of the second chorus, the solos from the guitars are fantastic. They also slap the darker atmosphere on it so that it doesn’t flip out and go into full deranged death’n’roll. In this song comes another memorable line, which also touches emotionally through how the singer delivers it vocally – “We found the gallows sling in the light / A lost reversal of fortune“. What a great line lyrically. It gives off a very subliminal message as it goes through your brain, an ambiguity not easily taken away.

On this compilation, “Recess” feels like the dividing line between “Personae Ingratae” and “Proselytes“, even though it originally wasn’t. A good piece of death-doom metal but with much better melodies then there generally is in that crossover genre. They are really accentuated and heightened in this short song. An uproar of the most desperate anguish, but without the cheesiness that would be attached to it otherwise with bad lyrics, so it is actually good that they went full instrumental for once. Though it wouldn’t of been any trouble for the singer to lay his unique touch on it as well, had it not been.

Ochlesis” is the longest track on the release, and feels like a combination of all the good in the first few songs and the otherworldly nature of their atmosphere. Simple but ingenious riffs lay the foundation of the choruses, as one is transported between all possible sub-genres and back again. From metal to post-punk, doom metal to gothic rock. There’s also an downtempo part that is fanatically great – they leave room to each instrument, and let the different textures blend together through silence and noise – completing the sound in a vividly imaginable perfect scenario.

Though the first part shines the brightest, as that is their stronger side, it is accompanied by an even heavier laden barrage of the finest metal you could imagine. Nothing is compromised when they get to do their own thing, whatever that could be called in a summary. Though, as written in the first paragraphs about this song, it is clear that it is a combination of all the best elements so far from this record.

Death Is Your Lover” is by far the roughest sounding track so far, having more dark riffs then ever before. The title alone suggests what you’re about to hear when turning it on. The drumming also goes into different riffs, as it almost wants to go into full blast-beat as soon as possible, but is hindered by the fact that it is as gloomy as doom metal can be when it is at its best – in combination with the psychedelic, slow and hard-hitting aspects of that certain genre.

Little bits of pieces in this song are good, but together it doesn’t stand out that much in comparison with other songs. There are different ambiance that could’ve been adjusted a bit more, and the singing gets a bit dull after parts of it, but without a doubt the lyrical content of this song is one of the best. Especially the repetitiveness of it all, which lulls one into uncertainty.

Rattenkönig” is so pleasurable to listen to. It holds up great in all aspects and is except the first two songs, “Fallen Nation” and “Tarantist“, which in itself makes it a great song. The lyrics flow so well, as if the vocalist have lived what is described himself. As if it is recited by a great orator. There’s really nothing more to be said then that it gives off a spiritual feeling when listening to it. Such a great, uncompromising and skilfully made song that it isn’t even funny. Nothing could be done better in it that would make it even more outstanding.

BothQuietus” and “Proselytes” is if you had inverted the record itself, not that they are identical to the first two songs musically, it is just that they are as great in their own respects. Here, they’ve added a bit more that gives the atmosphere that knife-sharp edge and volatility which some of the other tracks miss out on. The first song mentioned actually contain some blast-beats to our joy, and it is the better one of the two, but both are god-damn impeccable.

Such a great ending to an otherwise more than good compilation of two releases. We could not recommend it more, actually. It is just a shame that it hasn’t gotten more publicity, because this sure is a hidden gem in the Caligari Records discography – despite it being the next-newest release there. If anything, you should really get this CD because nothing beats having the physical item. You can get it digitally and on CD from Caligari Records, stream the release down below to make up your own mind.

 

Review: L’Avenir – Soir

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A couple of months ago Cold Beats Records announced the fourth album by L’Avenir, titled “Soir“. In terms of aesthetics he’s been consistent but it is not the most pleasing artwork to lay your eyes upon. There’s a certain connection between each of his albums and it is noticeable even though he’s shifted to a more ethereal approach on this release. He’s kept the most interesting elements of his music and developed it into an otherworldly experience – but how that holds up in practice is what you’ll find out – in this latest track-by-track review on Repartiseraren.

The introductory for this album, “Modern World” is excitingly refreshing to hear as it starts off but when the melody is laid down in the song, it gets increasingly mind-numbing. Going from laying a creative and ethereal sound, bouncing from ambient to minimal wave, synth-pop and back again – is simply astonishing. The lyrics hold up well and the dismayed tone of the sound is also an unpleasant reminder of the topic that Jason brings up in this song.

As the song comes to a close, another melody is laid upon the frankly cheesy melody that he decided to delve too much into. This other melody is more in tune with the overall sound and fits the picturesque notion he deliver with the rhythm, drums and occasional synthesizer bravado. Conceptually the song is much better, however it lacks severely in captivating melodies and make it a blunder in terms of the passage between the intro and the outro.

Desert” is way more of a stable track, which in its essence has a great melody and move toward a decent sound. The problem with the song is that it suffers from the opposite of what the first one did, that is the vocals and lyrical content isn’t that good to begin with -but the melodies, rhythm and everything else that carries the atmosphere and develops it into something more are consistently surprising – in a good way. The alarming nature of high-note synthesizers is reminiscent of Person:A.

Another thing must be said about this and that is how the rhythm in the beginning slowly drags the listener into the sound-scape and lets the ambient side of L’Avenir glisten. It is good that the vocals and the lyrics don’t take up much of a space in general and that one can drift away, enjoying the remainder of the music itself and how he professionally crafts what is his own sound.

InThe Stranger” the beats get heavier and more pulsating. There’s an eerie darkness and the synthesizers get to be in the background a lot more, as the vocals and the rhythm are the first and foremost benefiters in this song. The rhythm is simple yet hypnotizing when the base drum resounds and the snare drum hits, a very unchanging atmosphere that relies on what already has been presented in the beginning of it. It’s overall the best sounding tune so far.

As it switches into more ambient settings the further in you get, the melodies layer beautifully upon one another and connect marvelously, inserting that much needed emotional touch which L’Avenir can pull off brilliantly. This is where the transition into “Mirror Men” goes painfully, as they share many of the elements that made “The Stranger” and “Desert” much better then “Modern World“.

WithMirror Men” you can almost hear some of the hints that are so lovable in Drab Majesty, for example. A sound-scape clad in an ethereal form, where smoke sifts through the cracks and give off a mysteriously but huge atmospheric draped in a synth-pop outfit. The melodies are crystal clear and put forth some kind of eerie existentialist but immortal vibe to it. Your body is more then a vessel, it is one metaphysical step closer to god and the divine. The beats have also become more concentrated and punched up, there’s more guts in this song.

Silence Shouts” become more of a standardized song for “Soir” after the aforementioned one. A bridge to something else. But he utilizes the differentiating vocals in this song to create a worthwhile listening experience. The more you get into it the further it develops in the background, together with the constant synthesizer-baseline and then a grandiose section is dropped in – the synthesizers get more brazen and deliver a more confident version of the same song. Hearing the different components go out of their way, some of them in a minuscule fashion, others drift away into complex melodies, is very satisfying.

Then comes a transgression from regular minimal synth and synth-pop, a more electronic body music oriented vibe in “Winter Calls“. If the other songs had a string of sublimity in it – this is when the hammer hits the nail – it is without any mysterious intent and more with a colder touch. Here’s where the concept have been on point with the actual song it self. As the beats stumble more and stutter, the synthesizers are more concentrated then ever. It doesn’t stand and fall with the rhythm and beats, it stands on its own in melodies and general atmosphere.

Now whenOutside” comes on, it hits right at home but there’s something off with the sound, one doesn’t know if it is intentional or if it is the masterer’s fault. We on Repartiseraren have released “Outside (Just Like Home)” on a compilation before this. It sounds a bit different. The melodies should be more apparent then they really are, the beats are too hollow and in front of the atmosphere that should be felt in a different way. It is as if someone activated a drum-machine and had the intentions of making another song, at the same time that L’Avenir made “Outside“. It doesn’t really fit.

It is one of the more serious disappointments on this release. “What Happened To Yesterday” is, however, a great example of the adaptiveness of Jason’s music as it is a pure synth-pop gem. The melodies are central and bring out the soul of the song immaculately. Even though some parts of it ain’t my cup of tea, one can not dismiss it in its entirety. Atmospherically the song is huge and covers more territory then any other on this album. Synthesizers are in the background and foreground without the rhythm or beats interfering in an awkward way. A great addition to a so far alright release.

The songVivet” is more playful in its style and stray away from the seriousness in the music at times, giving it a more ambiguous feeling while listening to it. A very dancefloor-friendly song. Rhythmically it is enchanting and nothing bad could be said about it, it is the embodiment of what L’Avenir tries to say and establish with this release. It is funny how the songs gradually get better, then as they get better it turns for the worse and come back to the greater side where they could’ve stayed in the first place.

Had this album been released in August or September instead, “August” would’ve been the epitome of an outro – the change from summer to fall – for better or worse. A sullen baseline carries the rhythm of sharpened beats that steadily marks the end of “Soir“. Even though you’ve already been given a lot to listen to, it doesn’t end with the outdrawn melodies and simple beats to shut everything down and call it a day, there are bonus tracks and remixes available as well. Let’s take them on.

Interestingly enough, “No Destination (Bonus Track)” is a really experimental gem that should’ve been saved for the b-side instead of one of the other songs. Not to mention “Fault” – which is quite frankly one of the best songs on this release. Even though one gets why “No Destination” doesn’t fit the album, “Fault” could’ve easily outmaneuvered one of the A-Side tracks – because it is really, really great. The fast-paced rhythm, playful synthesizer melodies and overall great, ambitious sound-scape is reason enough.

Denial (Bonus Track)” is also one of those songs that would’ve made it better on the line-up for the original line-up. It has a well-crafted atmosphere and even though it might be a bit more experimental, it is way better and more inspiring then “Moonlight (Bonus Track)“. Experimentalism doesn’t always have to be on the bad side of the spectrum, it could very well be a more enthralling song more fitting on an album such as this.

Remixes, what about them? Well, they’re in most cases hit or miss – oftentimes more a miss. Forever Grey make a reasonably ok attempt at their version of “Mirror Men“, but the original stands much taller and this remix does nothing to stand out on its own, not a memorable attempt either. But there’s something about it that is charming but it is reserved for some parts of the remix only. Since the original song “Outside” was ruined, it is nice to hear the Person:A-remix which deliver some really claustrophobic, minimalistic cold-wave interpretation of the original. He’s managed to pull off a really ominously sounding melody, that make the song less upbeat and more downbeat.

The breakdowns made by Kline Coma Xero on “What Happened To Yesterday” are charming but not enough to be considered great, but it adds a different touch and a whole new version of the original track, that coupled with auto-tuning gives it an experimental electronic and electro-ish vibe. MAKiNA GiRGiR‘s rework of  the same song almost makes it a chiptune tribute, one of the best remixes on this album for sure. They have a really minimalistic approach and it becomes a song on its own, ready to stand by itself in the atmosphere they’ve created and especially the melodies.

When the song “Silent Shouts” get the remix treatment by Nina Belief, it unfortunately falls on its own into the category of uninspiring. Had the beats matched the tempo better and her vocals as well, it might’ve been an off-shoot into something different and more alluring. This is most definitely a miss in terms of the remixes. The remix of “The Stranger” by Lola Kumtus is not anything interesting either, unfortunately. It just rehashes the song and makes it more cloudy, repetitive and basic.

So this is what I think of this album. In terms of the overall quality the record is not the best L’Avenir can do but it is worth listening to, since it contains a few really great songs and some that are not as great. You can listen to the album in full down below and if you like it, you can order a double-CD or a vinyl as well from Cold Beats Records.