Wednesday, 6 July 2016

Review: Digitalis Purpurea – 'Pastel Dissonances'

'Pastel Dissonances'

One-man Italian industrial project Digitalis Purpurea, AKA
Cristian Marovino, returns with the sequel to 2014's Giallo audio suite 'Palindrome Shapes Of Mold' in the form of 'Pastel Dissonances'. The latest album marks Marovino's fifth album release under the DP moniker and one of his most ambitious releases to date.

Another swerve in direction, 'Pastel Dissonances' sees the harsher black metal form of 'Palindrome Shapes Of Mold' supplanted to a degree with blues elements, guitars, space-age synths and vocoders coming together to form a sound that sounds like a much darker and more vulnerable take on Marilyn Manson's 'Mechanical Animals'.

It is atmospheric, hypnotic and sinister, but still catchy and accessible with songs such as 'The Mesmeric Lights Of Vegas', 'Oerhrt', 'Firmament Scales', 'Rated – R Bubblegum (Danny Saber Alternate Mix)', 'Marzipan Dream', and 'White Stars Are Phosphenes (Acoustic Version)' showing off the most accessible end of the album. While the likes of 'The Telephone Rings In The Middle Of The Night', 'Night Hag [Reprise]', and 'Second Sight [Noise Mix]' ensure the more experimental arm of the Digitalis Purpurea sound is catered to.

The production walks a fine line between Marovino's previous pop dalliances and his more experiential leanings. The result of which is a slick but gritty mix that balances the harsh and more melodic elements of the songs in a very effective way.

This is a much more accessible album than its predecessor, with more traditional electronic and guitar constructions and only slight forays into out-and-out experimentalism. As such this is a balanced listen that shows off the depth and emotional resonance of Marovino's songwriting and compositional abilities. It is another twist from a very talented musician that hints at more to come. 

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