Tuesday 30 April 2013

Review: Blank - 'Dark Retreat'

'Dark Retreat' 

Italian duo Blank have had a few years break since their last release (five if the truth be told) so their latest album will have a lot of promises to keep. Before it even starts 'Dark Retreat' boasts some big names. Chris Peterson (Front Line Assembly) and Sebastian Komor (Icon Of Coil) are their production team for starters.

The band have taken a darker tack with this album, less dancefloor focused and more introverted. Although there are obviously upbeat, danceable tracks the overall feel is a sombre, and sometimes frustrated, one. Opening track 'Subliminal Man' is dark, broken electro pop, an intelligent and well put together piece, after which 'DioChemicals' picks up the pace and shows more of the band's ebm roots. After this though, the next stand out track is 'Lost Symmetry' featuring Elena Alice Fosssi from Kirlian Camera. The songs in between are a little flat and her sailing voice, and change of beat, make a refreshing change from the distorted almost monotone lead vocals throughout the rest of the album.

'Dusk Devil' is an instrumental, the second on 'Dark Retreat', which works well after Fossi's appearances, almost a palate cleanser. It builds into an interesting and well-layered stand alone piece. Again it is the guest's song that attracts attention next. Elenor Rayner from The Crystalline Effect takes over vocals for 'Dead Roads', a fast paced, melodic dance track with a running rhythm. After this the duo take the reins again and the album returns to it's dark, introspective nature.

Some will find this album a welcome break from the constant beat of the electro and ebm genre, something to chill out to and get lost in, others may want for more direction and variety.

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