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Art Noir - Poems Of An Extinct Species (2021) - Review

Band: Art Noir
Album title: Poems Of An Extinct Species
Release date: 29 January 2021
Label: Aenaos Records
Genre: Ambient/Electronic/Darkwave/Industrial/Ethereal

Tracklist:
01. Gloomy Sunday
02. Shadows Of The Past
03. Moving Sky
04. Pleasure And Pain
05. All They Left Behind
06. Time And Eternity
07. The Imagined World
08. The End Of Illusions
09. Thorns And Lilies
10. Moving Sky (Wasted Life Remix)

Art Noir might be a new name for many of you, but this German project released its debut album, Flügel, back in 2004, then in 2009 the sophomore Silent Green came, and since then everything was silent. After a decade, in October 2020 Art Noir came back with the amazing single, the radio edit version of "Thorns And Lilies". With this single Art Noir announced this full-length, Poems Of An Extinct Species. The things, musically wise, changed a bit for Art Noir, the more industrial/dark ambient sound is still present but now minimalized and the more driving, ethereal, cinematic and atmospheric soundscapes took over.

Art Noir is a project of German film composer Jan Weber, now joined by vocalist/lyricist Nadine Stelzer (aka Nadja Delajura). Jan started composing this album already in 2015, but he was diagnosed with the neurodegenerative disease Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) soon after. He has just begun to lay down the framework for the album when he was still able to move his fingers. With the loss of voluntary muscle movement slowly progressing, he needed an assistive eye-tracking communication device to complete the recording over the following five years. Fortunately for Jan, we live in a century where unprecedented technological advancements engendered devices that have become indispensable extensions of our motor and sensory systems.

Poems Of An Extinct Species consists of nine tracks and one remix, and while we deal with merely electronic sounds and samples, the thing is pretty versatile and dynamic. From the groovy rather danceable synth-pop ("Gloomy Sunday"), electrifying synth-wave ("Moving Sky"), to gloomy darkwave ("The Imagined World"), way back to purely ambient ("The End Of Illusions") and avant-garde/industrial/electro/ambient stuff ("Pleasure And Pain"), yet everything in between. There's a lot of melancholy, gothic mysticism, a lot of layers and deep atmospheres, and what adds the captivating factor is, of course, the ethereal and soaring voice of Nadine in six of the tracks. You'll hear many catchy melodic lines that grab hard the listener and get stuck in the head, like for example in the most accessible one, the ethereal/ambient/darkwave song named "Thorns And Lilies" with lush atmosphere and deeply captivating lines where the sweeping and sweet pulsating rhythmic lines do miracles while being painted with a huge dose of magic, melancholy and strange romanticism.

This album offers a lot, and it will be certainly put on repeat many times before you can hear all the hidden layers and sounds that dance together in this universe of sweetness and pain. Painted with dark colours, embraced by agony and love, this is a surreal, yet modern musical creation that transcends the borders of dark electronic music. The listener should pay some attention to the thought-provoking lyrics that challenge the confines of our current perceptional reality, invoking imagery and imagination of what was, what is, and what may be. Jan Weber shows with this album that he is a master in creating unique and deep moving yet brooding soundscapes, he must have a lot of passion for music regarding his illness, to create something like this, a multi-dimensional sound that interrelates through time and space.

The review was written by Tomaz
Rating: 8/10

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