Tuesday 28 October 2014

Review: Tregenza – 'Into The Void'

'Into The Void'

It has been a long time coming, but after a string of varied and exciting EP releases, Ross Tregenza has finally dropped his first full-length solo album. The former Goteki main-man has continued to dramatically expand upon the “death electro” sound he pursued with his former band's last album 'Santa Muerte', and brought in elements such as indie rock, blues, orchestral and dark ambient into the mix. The result has been a big jump in the scope and quality of his songwriter as he has pushed himself further with every release.

'Into The Void' filters these elements into something that blends cinematic power with pop simplicity. A few of the songs here will be familiar to those who have already downloaded the free EPs, but as with any good début album they have been given an overhaul and built up into a cohesive unit, with tracks such as 'Born Into Fire', the brilliant Leonard Cohen cover 'The Partisan', 'Last Light', and 'Wolves' in particular providing the backbone of the track list. While the new offerings 'Exhordium', 'Release', 'Disquietude', and 'The Void' blend atmospheric textures with elements such as mournful vocals and melodies, strong dance beats and delicate piano lines and warm orchestration to create compelling yet atmospheric style of dark synthpop that could be likened to Nick Cave and Warren Ellis collaborating with Depeche Mode.

The production walks a fine line between the cinematic and the pop-friendly sides of the album's sound. It definitely works though, especially with the orchestration complimenting the synths as well as adding some warmth to counterpoint Tregenza's cold futuristic vocal effect.

'Into The Void' has taken it's time to appear, but it has been worth the wait. Trengenza's skills as a solo artist are now beyond question. The song writing here is strong and memorable, the production is excellent and maintains an experimental edge that belies the ever-present pop slant of Tregenza's approach. This is the strongest and most confident release that in his varied and expansive back-catalogue and should provide Ross Tregenza a very solid platform for a long solo career.  

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