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The Faces Of Sarah - Past Life [EP] (2014) - Review

Band: The Faces Of Sarah
Album title: Past Life [EP]
Release date: 29 September 2014
Label: Self-Released

Tracklist:
01. Behind Dead Eyes
02. Embers
03. I'll Wait For You
04. On A Day Like This
05. Past Life

British band The Faces Of Sarah who went through some kind of hiatus and whose last studio release, an album named Lament, was released eight years ago is finally back with a new five tracker, the EP entitled Past Life. Now, the band seems to be full of new ideas and energy, with a completely reformed line-up where the only original member is vocalist Nick Schultz. The Faces Of Sarah were never an easy band to categorize, yes they were somehow considered as a part of second wave gothic rock bands, but their music is not really only that, it is based on hard rock and alternative rock, with kind of an indie rock attitude and gothic metal vibe, yet having a kind of Suomi melancholic feeling in its core, so it's obvious that their songs differ from one side to another, thus having kind of interesting twists when needed, and it's nothing strange that in their biography we can find mentioned as influences everything from The 69 Eyes, The Cure, Paradise Lost, HIM, to Anathema and Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds.

The EP in question serves with five very down-to-earth modern compositions, lyrically is based on the life of an old war veteran, you can see his face on the cover artwork, "Alone in the dark / Like a child alone crying / What was that sound? / A part of you dying". It's obvious that melodic lines play the most important role beside Nicks extravagant voice. The Faces Of Sarah is an experienced band in terms of music compositions and they've created such an astonishing emotional yet very dense sound, nicely starting with soft piano touches on "Behind Dead Eyes" and soon showing the real power when guitars kick in. Nicks voice is better than ever before, he can easily go from the most emotional stance into deep powerful and high pitched hard rocking variation with full elegance and style. That can be best experienced in the heaviest song up here - "Embers", where some might find in the pounding rhytmic section a slight similarity with Paradise Lost from Draconian Times era. Just listen to magnificent smooth guitar lines, not to mention a couple of leads, and kind of a groove that could be compared to some upbeat things from early era Placebo.

If you pay enough attention you'll hear occasionally in the distance really marvelous synths forming a dark curtain fulfilling the ambiance with dark matter in most of the tracks. The guys are walking a thin line and risk to become to cheesy in balladic semi acoustic "I'll Wait For You", where some might find in this melancholic gentle pop rock tune resemblances to Shamrain, Charon, To/Die/For and similar artists, yet the most sensuos stuff of The Mission comes in mind. The alternative rocker "On A Day Like This" hits like a sharp knife with some nice drum kicks and great uplifting melodic chorus full of passion. In my opinion the best thing is reserved for the end and the epic title track with such a heart-rending atmosphere and passionate vocal style must leave you breathless. Almost solemn dark veil of synths is converged with soft but still majestic swelling instrumentation that leads rapidly into an emotional climax.

Past Life is highly emotive work of art, it's keeping an easy/gentle vibe and drive with some shifts into heavier direction in the most elegant manner and gives to the listener some kind of a positive vibration even if it's painted with darkest colours and being wracked by melancholic feelings. The production, final mix and mastering are truly professional and thus the sound is clear, it has the necessary depth and power. If this EP shows what to expect on bands forthcoming album, which is in the making, than I'm sure we can expect something spectacular very soon. The only question is who is the real audience for this kind of music today as it doesn't point out to something specific and we all know how it's with those things today, but they got me with this release and I highly recommend to all of you to give it a try.

How did we get downhearted? Now we look like the dearly departed.

Review written by: T.V.
Rating: 8,5/10

Recommended by Terra Relicta

Band: Neurotech
Album title: Stigma
Release date: 7 June 2015
Label: Self-Released

Playing softly with intertwining so many various styles, building on a solid foundation of cyber metal and enhancing with so many different layers, most notable feature of Stigma is its strong cinematic approach. The blasting drums are still present, covered with a dense layer of electronic effects and Wulf's vocoded vocals. But what really makes it so significant and pushes it further, is the grandeur approach and stupendous orchestrations, which flow more in the vein of film score music of Hans Zimmer, than symphonic metal, and are vibrating throughout the entire album. However, what spices up the deal are the numerous, eloquent insertions of so many different stylistic elements into the game. Stigma is yet another album, Wulf can only feel pride and joy of. What from a certain point of view may seem like it's only Infra Versus Ultra part 2, when realizing its potent nature, this album does open up new dimensions in the realms of Neuortech. On one side it is so staggeringly poetic, romantic and thought-provoking, on the other well as nerve striking, energetic and even demonic. If you are one of those Neurotech fans, who still craves and wishes for an Antagonist sequel, leave your hopes behind. But if you are here to follow the further evolution of its music, Stigma is simply an album you must embrace.

Read a full review HERE