Published on Saturday, 03 October 2015 21:16
Band: Born For Bliss
Album title: Falling Back To Never
Release date: 16 October 2015
02. This Narrow Place
05. Falling Back
07. Better Than Me
09. Walk On By
10. Four Horsemen
I guess that it's useless to say what kind of an imput made Born For Bliss into alternative dark rock scene with their debut album Flowing With The Flu, released back in 1997, and with their sophomore one, Between Living & Dreaming, which was completed two years after that and released with a huge delay in 2010. When almost everybody thought that it's over with Born For Bliss this enigmatic band returned in 2013 with a new EP title Innocent and an annoucment that a third full-lenght will follow shortly afterwards. Now, more than two years after, Born For Bliss is finally back with an album that's by all means a proper masterpiece, Falling Back To Never, which takes with such an ease the listener into a magical world that can be rarely witnessed.
The mastermind of the band, the Dutch songwriter, vocalist and multiinstrumentalist Frank Weyzig (also one half of the amazing duo Vaselyne), who also did with absolute perfection the whole production and mixing of the album (mastering was done by Tom O'connell), known also as former Clan Of Xymox member during their early and exciting 4AD years of this electronic-wave-gothic legend (mid to late 80s). With Clan Of Xymox Frank released their two classic cult albums, the self-titled one and Medusa. In Born For Bliss he's joined by drummer Willem van Antwerpen, who is also known from Clan Of Xymox, as hestepped in to play drums with xymox after the second album. The third member of Born For Bliss is bassist Remco Helbers, who found his way into the band as an ex member of The Dreamside and live member of gothic rock legends Love Like Blood. While most of the songs were written by Frank, also the other two guys certainly left a huge mark in the sound, both being true professionals, and once you'll hear Willem's one of a kind drumming or Remco's unique style of playing bass and dealing will all those loops and soundscapes you'll be amazed. And I can't skip the fourth member or a guest if you want, the American female vocalist Lori Sloan who serves with some amazing vocal lines on five of the featured songs.
Falling Back To Never is like a story told in twelve chapters and as the opener "Innocent" is repetitively saying, "tell me your story, tell me you're innocent...", you know in an instant what will be about lyricaly wise. If the opening song can be counted like a rather hypnotic and psychedelic, yet very multidimensional introduction into Falling Back To Never, the real drama and whole new world opens up with "This Narrow Place". The sound on the album is somehow complex, constantly divided between the emotional, gentle, atmospheric new wave sound, and the one a bit more hypnotic, but still there's not a single second on it where it loses its extraordinary pathos. The vocal job is simply breathtaking, it's difficult to explain what kind of a power, passion and emotion is poured into it, let it be when Frank sings alone or in a duet with Lori, one of the finest examples of such a duet must be the driving "Better Than Me". The overall very atmospheric sound is often enriched with use of various electronics, synths, piano touches and much more other well thought insertions.
It's impossible to ignore some elements that are reminding to early era of Clan Of Xymox, for example in beautiful "Falling Back", and it's also impossible to overhear a strong Depeche Mode vibe in "Greed". Some of the melodies are just mighty, with kind of a delicacy Born For Bliss combine the catchiness of pop music with alternative indie rock, new wave, also with some gothic rock, dark wave, electronic and even post-rock, but believe me that it's so hard or almost impossible to put their sonic output in any category, as Born For Bliss created one hell of truly unique new kind of soundscape, they even surpased with ease everything they did before. Just listen how nicely "Hours" builds up from the melancholic ballad into an expansive multimensional emotive dark/indie rock beauty. Then I can't go past the similar pace in "Wrong", where those reverberate bass lines and prolonged guitar riffs with a distant solo in the background gives goose bumps.
As the album gets close to an end with more and more melancholy it serves, just listen how the ambiance becomes dark in "Walk On By", and also the rather upbeat "Four Horseman" with use of some drilling psychelic pulses is not an exception. Its real dark side Born For Bliss show with the captivating touchy ambiance of "Thorns" and the closing one, almost epic "Anxiety", which is a favorite of mine, how deeply moving is the sound in here, how soul caressing, seductive and... simply breathtaking and soothing is the whole atmosphere. How amazing and in a way warm are those smooth guitar lines, riffs, let it be acoustic, distorted or electrified, those piano touches, the speech explaining the symptoms of anxiety in the background, violin sound,... simply everything,... a special electrifying ambiance grabs you and when it's over you are left with kind of a distressing feeling, wanting to hear more, but still, the one who takes this sonic journey must be satisfied in the end, because albums like it's Falling Back To Never are rarely released these days. A masterpiece!
Review written by: T.V.