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Terra Relicta Top 20 Of 2017



01. Lacrimosa
- Testimonium
02. Sólstafir
- Berdreyminn
03. Soror Dolorosa
- Apollo
04. Ulver
- The Assassination Of Julius Caesar
05. Myrkur
- Mareridt
06. Sun Of The Sleepless
- To The Elements
07. Moonspell
- 1755
08. Au Champ Des Morts
- Dans La Joie
09. Andras
- Reminiszenzen...
10. Svartsinn
- Mørkets Variabler

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Pleasure Symbols - Pleasure Symbols [EP] (2016) - Review

Band: Pleasure Symbols
Album title: Pleasure Symbols [EP]
Release date: 2 September 2016
Label: Avant! Records (Europe), Death Valley (Australia)

Tracklist:
01. Underneath Your Skin
02. Above All Else
03. Ultra Violence
04. Control


The all female duo from Brisbane (Australia) Pleasure Symbols, which consists of Phoebe Paradise and Jasmine Dunn, is ready to release their eponymous debut self-titled offering to the world. The two girls offer on this EP four tracks of most possible alienated version of minimal dark/synth wave with some cold wave and post-punk influences. I'm almost sure that the one who composed this kind of music must have been on some kind of strange drugs or at least in some kind of very strange state of mind.

Pleasure Symbols hits the listeners senses with psychedelic linear minimalism, but oddly enough those tracks are quite surreal, almost ritualistic and meditative. There's so much darkness and desolation inside the songs. It's a tripy danceable kind of music that takes you into the most desperate and coldest place possible inside your mind. The alienated distant and rather echoing vocals seems to be in another dimension, slowly waveing reverberate bass lines and artificial beats are totally estranged, but yet there's some kind of gloomy wacky melody that is keeping each of the tracks in balance. The vibrant atmosphere created by some well inserted synths, drones and electronic loops makes everything feel even colder.

The pace is often slow and you'll have a feeling of overall uninterest towards everything living and breathing. I can sense some kind of nihilism within this addictive unavoidable melancholy. Certain instrumental parts have something in common with The Sisterhood's "Giving Ground", yet other parts can be compared with The Sisters Of Mercy' "Neverland", also with early The Cure, Joy Division and Siouxsie And The Banshees to name a few, but don't take those comparision for granted, at least not on the first sight, more like an influence, because Pleasure Symbols are much more, I tell you, much more minimalistic and way more psychedelic. While almost all of the tracks follow the same compositional line, I will mention that I love the murky ambiance created by those obscure droney keys on "Ultra Violence" and the track "Control" must be inspired by some vintage Italian horror movie taking place far on the desolate north, which is as well a plus for me. Also the rather danceable popy rhythm of the opener "Underneath Your Skin" is quite intriguing and it'll be nothing strange if your body will subconsciously start to move.

It seems that Pleasure Symbols took all the darkness from 80s dark/synth/cold wave and post-punk music and did what they did. Even though this release must give all the credits to 80s legacy is without any doubt also in a strange way contemporary as it reflects the ignorant, messed up and mentally estranged worlds population of today. On the other hand thanks god or satan or whoever that this EP is only 16 minutes long to be still an enjoyable experience, otherwise I'll lose my mind and fall into oblivion if I had to listen to one hour or more of this music.

Review written by: T.V.
Rating: 7/10

Recommended by Terra Relicta

Band: Balfor
Album title: Black Serpent Rising
Release date: 15 January 2017
Label: Drakkar Productions

Balfor is an Ukrainian band from Kiev which features current and ex members of bands such as Khors, Raventale and Hate Forest. We are dealing here with a successful band, with only strong albums and some EP's so far, but this one is without any doubt one of their best. The new album is very heavy and atmospheric, with rich layers of symphonic gloomy synths, plenty of blast beats, a lot of mesmerizing and quite technical guitar leads and to top of everything they also use a nice amount of captivating melodic structures. The vocal style is mostly reminiscent to some symphonic black metal bands, here and there are as well some necessary clean vocals inserted, but also some more brutal death metal styled ones. Congrats to all members and their impressive work. Undoubtedly an epic black/death metal band that is enshrined with praise! Hail Thyself!

Read a full review HERE