Tuesday 18 June 2013

Review: Kirlian Camera – 'Black Summer Choirs'

'Black Summer Choirs' 

Kirlian Camera have always been an intriguing project. One that has involved from a experimental/neofolk project into a shining example of European electronica. The band's last album 'Nightglory' exemplified this with it's focus on anthemic and symphonic synthpop powered by the soaring vocals of Elena Fossi. This time however, the band looks back on its own extensive discography for inspiration. Reintroducing the neofolk elements and accentuating the film noir atmosphere of Fossi's Spectra*Paris project. The result is a darker and more haunting Kirlian Camera than we've seen in recent years.

The album has it's driving dance floor appeal in songs such as 'Black August', 'Heavens' and 'Dark Matter', which give the album some back bone and ensures the band's continued presence in international DJ sets. But it's the soundtrack-esque offerings such as 'Silencing The World', 'The Fountain Of Clouds' and 'Stranger In The Abandoned station' that really tie this album together and project an apocalyptic spy thriller atmosphere.

The interview style segues may perplex some more casual listeners, but with their ambient electronic backing they are atmospherically very effective. Even the acoustic guitar driven 'Words', featuring vocals from Ralf Jesek [In My Rosary], is a new tactic for the band with its classic rock song structure.

There isn't anything that doesn’t work here. Yes there are multiple styles at work, some of which may give it a choppy kind of pace when presented side-by-side. But the way the band has arranged the structure of the album sees the 'Final Interview' tracks give it the illusion four distinct chapters within the whole and rounding it out.

Just when you think you have Kirlian Camera figured out, they make a sharp turn and force their audience to completely re-evaluate them. The band do keep a foot in club friendly waters. But they have opted to go headlong into more intriguing and arguably more rewarding directions. It's a nice change of pace, but it may prove divisive to some of their more recent converts.

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