Sunday 23 September 2018

Review: Croona – 'Memento Mori'

'Memento Mori' 

Fredrik Croon already has an impressive resume that boasts industrial and aggrotech acts such as Menschdefekt,Project Rotten and Cynical Existence. However, this time around he's gone in a slightly different direction, dropping the heavily distorted vocals of his previous work, and embracing a cleaner singing style. 'Memento Mori' is an album that leans heavily on the melodic and emotional elements of genres like futurepop and synthpop, while still embracing the dark electro and metal influences of his previous work, in a blend he has christened Aggropop.

The result is a more diverse and and varied approach that pushes his skills as a songwriter into new and interesting directions. There are still dark elements bubbling away below the surface and the odd heavier embellishment, but overall this is a richer and more melodic style that retains a solid dance appeal and feels more well rounded that the unfettered aggression of previous projects.

Songs such as 'Into The Shadows', 'Mine', 'Ashes From The Past', 'A New Dawn', 'The Day I Died', 'Rise Again, and 'When all Is Said And Done' give the album a solid back bone of dance beats, trance-like melodies, airy textures and clean that definitely play up on the pop element of his self-christened sound. Yet tracks like 'Bleed For Me', 'Regret', and 'It's Over' with their darker tones and harsher vocals provide a nice heavy counterpart and link back to his previous works.

In terms of production the album definitely captures more of the polished 'pop' feel than the heavier offerings in Croona's previous projects. It's still hits hard where it needs to and even the instrumental tracks maintain a compelling edge despite their dance floor focus. It effectively switches between the dark, heavy elements and the more melodic and leaves the album feeling nicely balanced.

This is a strong outing from Croona and it's definitely something he should build on, playing with the nature of his new aggropop style and seeing how far he can push it in every direction. Hopefully there will be much more in the near future.

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