Published on Tuesday, 02 February 2016 20:51
Album: Songs For The Dead
Release date: 16th October 2015
Label: Cleopatra Records
01. Dance Macabre
02. Im Paradisum
03. Die Young
04. All Year Long
07. The Pentagram
09. The Day I Die
10. Only Death Is Real
Oh sweet, diabolical darkness, thy name is Songs For The Dead. The nothing less than ghastly and fabulous duo Magenta, which consists of incredibly gifted and experiences musicians - Andres Odden (whom some of you may know from Apoptygma Berzerk, Celtic Frost and Cadaver and as a current bass player of black metallers Satyricon) and Vilde Lockert - has released another masterpiece, combining alternative and gothic rock features, spiced up with a use of many electronic layers. Songs For The Dead could not have a more suitable album title, because from the beginning until the end you will find the songs simply oozing with macabre and soaring atmosphere, which is divulged in the most pleasurable manner to the listener. I have to admit, I myself only found out about Magenta a year ago or so and could not believe that such a precious darkly act went unnoticed by me. I still believe Magenta is one hell of a underrated alternative/industrial act, because not only do they present a multi-dimensional sound, but their music radiates some sort of in-explainable passion, which simply strikes one's nerves and sends a rush of wild impulses through your body.
The album opens up with a short, dreadful and freakish intro "Dance Macabre" and then unveils the curtains into the theatre of madness, dark romanticism and everlasting melancholy. Songs For The Dead shines out in its diversity and rough, yet poetic atmosphere, as you will witness a brilliant crossover between its harsher and its more delicate side; combining elements of industrial and gothic metal with alternative rock as well as EBM and dark electro features. Not only is it diverse, the album will overwhelm your soul simply because all these elements are brought together in perfect harmony and create a really dense and profound ambient throughout the entire album, bringing forth a wide palette of emotions, from fear and sadness to relief and the feel of lost hope. Vilde surely deserves all the praise she can get, as her vocal performance is simply breathtaking, as she displays so many different techniques and thus brings a lot to the overall sensations of the album. At one moment you will feel she is luring you into the abyss of darkness with her soft and sultry speaking, then she will lightly seduce you with her sweet voice, sounding like a precious and lost siren and then again you will get a feel she is the most fierce and powerful force of nature, someone who is not to be reckoned with. With all the above mentioned, the wretched tracks "Im Paradisum" and "Descending" certainly stand out, as the steady and straightforward guitar riffs and pulsating beats, as well as a peculiar and mesmerizing vocal performance by Vilde create really an intense sense morbid and horror-esque atmosphere and present the heavy and tenebrous side of the album. On the other side, this release also gives us a more melancholic and EBM/dark electro driven tunes, such as in "Die Young" and "All Year Long", and even lifts the spirit up a bit in a still woeful, but slightly more light-weight "Ghost", where Vilde again displays a wide array other vocal abilities. The crestfallen emotions are probably most vividly presented in "The Day I Die" and "Mirror", whilst the art-damaged side of Magenta closes up the play with an almost psychotic and deeply haunting sounding outro "Only Death Is Real".
You may think magenta is a vivid and joyful colour, but Magenta's music is the opposite of it. Songs For The Dead simply is an album every listener of dark aestheticism should embrace, as it portrays an intense set of sensations in a quite dramatic and blistering way. Their sound is so unique and bedazzling, it will engulf you from head to toe and you will feel its twisted, mysterious, dreadful and hypnotizing soundscapes flow through your veins until they reach every single, living cell of your body. And if you can't feel the anything while listening to Songs For The Dead, then I'm sorry to say, but you're better off listening to current commercial pop tunes.
Review written by: Ines