Published on Wednesday, 23 September 2015 22:40
Band: Black Egg
Album title: Melencolia
Release date: 4 September 2015
Label: [aufnahme + wiedergabe]
01. In The Black Sun
04. Neon Man
06. Egg Mantra
09. Naked Angel
10. Petit Chevalier
11. Secret Wound
12. Sigils On The Trees
15. Traum Baby Traum
16. Stunde Null
Black Egg is back with a new stunning album, after the magnificient in 2013 released debut album Legacy From A Cold World and the fantastic EP Brotherhood released last year, this new collection of songs takes a slightly different approach. The main persona behind Black Egg is the French composer/singer/multiinstrumentalist UsherSan, active in the music business since late 80s, known from before as the founder of the legendary Norma Loy and Die Puppe, this time he teamed up with the Austrian soul mate Corina Nenuphar (Ghost Actor, Vile Oblique, Suicide Potion,...), and the two created an album of highly hypnotizing dark minimalism. Melencolia comes out with a bit of delay as it was in the making since 2013 and finished in 2014, so some things might be outdated for what concers the sound of the band, but no matter what, Melencolia gives shivers, it's an album with an eerie and cold atmosphere, yet at he same time it's very intimate and somehow schizophrenic.
Melencolia is maybe the most minimalistic thing Black Egg did so far, but it offers such a multidimensional sound with many layers and variations that can't be taken just like another minimal dark electro thing, and it's absolutely not. Black Egg on Melencolia created a very dense and perverse sound which drills into your mind and soul with retro psychedelic elements, that could be in a strange way connected with the retro avantgarde rock sound of Velvet Underground and even with most disturbing and provocative things The Doors did back then. But please don't be misguided by my sayings, because Black Egg is an musical creation on its own as you'll find here also elements of cold wave, ghost wave, dark wave, synth wave, punk, even segments of industrial music, everything well combined into an highly expressive almost ritualistic monodramatic musical output. Use of different instruments, from synthetic retro beats, various samples, deep pulsating bass lines, piano, rhythmic noises,..., makes the whole thing dynamic, the atmosphere is often very suspenseful, psychedelic, sometimes almost appropriate for a BDSM orgy, everything is yet well produced and arranged, giving kind of a multimensional depth.
The songs on Melencolia talk about the world as it is, about the wandering souls that magick failed, about darkness calling for simplicity. It's main reference is the Dürer's allegorical compostion, Melencolia, from 1514, revisited and newly interpreted, talking about melancholy that has always been more than a state of mind or a mental illness, it has been a particular focus on the existence through the means of an extreme lucidity and the genius of a contemplative aesthetic. From the cold hypnotic, yet almost perverse black magic on "In The Black Sun" and "Egg Mantra", to disturbing electro retro-minimal experimentations on "Leaving" and "Neon Men" which bring in mind the likes of Front 242, Cobalt 60 and Front Line Assembly to name a few, industrial blackness on "Krieg", with tribalistic percussions, then crossing everything with the captivating melody and harmonic passages on "Sterilize", until finding the ultimate peace of mind on higly addictive "King" and on melancholic tender "Naked Angel". "Petit Chevalier", the last track up here, offers a gentle fragile child singing. UsherSan and Corina performed some amazing vocal duets on here, Usher with his ritualistic mind penetrating yet gentle preachings and Corina with her sensual, evocative otherworldly distant voice. Melencolia is occultistic musical journey, it's slowly building up a mysterious yet fragile soundscape filled with coldness.
Melencolia is sickness and darkness incarnated, it's beauty and schizophrenia, it's mysterious, melancholic and perverse. Those who'll get a special edition of the album with a bonus part called Acedia, a proper EP, featuring six more tunes, must pay attention to those addictive tender dark ambiances on "Secret Wound" and how beautiful is the vocal performance of both singers. Then the nicely building up atmosphere on ritualistic delirium within "Sigils On The Trees", even more dark psychedelia with amazing hidden melodic lines and haunting gloomy ambiances then follows on "Arrows" and culminates on disturbing "Stains" or even more on "Traum Baby Traum", where repetitive Corina's voice blended with layers of cold electronic experimentations and subtle UsherSan preachings gives goose bumps. Acedia ends with minimalistic industrial dark ambiances, throbing reverberate bass pulses, soft piano touches, everything covered by effective hypnotising recitation - "Stunde Null".
Melencolia, together with its bonus part Acedia offers a mind blowing musical journey full of twists and turns, still everything dark and subtle. It's not an easy album to digest, but once you'll get into its mood the whole new world opens up, maybe a bit too claustrophobic, but at the same time Melencolia is a poetry of a genious mind hiding beneath madman. It's an album that is slowly but steadily rising listeners attention and I highly recommend this album to each and every lover of dark, cold and hypnotic music.
And Melencolia is not everything that we get from Black Egg this year, soon an acoustic album named Songs Of Death And Deception, featuring some new and some reworked tracks, will see the light of the world.
Review written by: T.V.