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Tyler Milchmann - Strange Days (2012) - Review

Artist: Tyler Milchmann
Album title: Strange Days
Release date: 26 October 2012
Label: Bugs Crawling Out Of People Records

01. Die Seltsamen Regentage
02. Veitstanz
03. In Der Ukraine
04. Where The Iron Crosses Never Grow
05. Devil Is An Old Man From Radio
06. Engel steigen
07. Die Reise Eines Mädchens - Aus Omas Schlafzimmer In Den Freien Weltraum
08. Solange Es Noch Warm
09. Es wartet Der Tod Auf Dem Waldpfad Geduldig
10. Alle Kinder
11. Rauch über Der Elbe
12. Die Promenade

Ukrainian electro industrial artist Tyler Milchmann recently presented his debut album in question to the world. My first feeling is that he appeals only to German audience and I'm sure that this is not that far from the truth. Among twelve songs on this album there are only two sangt in English, while the rest is all in German language. Not to speak about the postponed music up here, it has a strong German vibe and main influences could be also found in that country. But, believe me, this stuff is not that bad, it was a while since I've listened to such powerful and at the same time vivid, yet warm atmospheres within electro industrial genre. From lyrical concept Strange Days is kind a collection of many stories, it's a psychological thriller of a man who attempts to understand a serial killer, until their two consciousnesses blend with each other. Then again it talks about the girl who tries to reach the distant stars of outer space, rather than facing another cold ordinary morning. It talks about whores, angelic creations and much more.

The originallity is not the thing that could be discussed as Tyler combines elements that were used before by many artists, the ones that come in mind after first three or four tracks are obvious, Das Ich, Rammstein and use of some folk elements give a slight connection to In Extremo. Just listen to "In Der Ukraine". Tyler is able to experiment with different sounds, once you get drowned into a vast ocean of atmospheric synthesized sounds and the very next kicked into the dancefloor with disco popy retro beats and typical EBM rhytmic sections. He is also familiar with harsh electronics and cyber goth, but the main sound comes from fields of industrial music. "Die Reise Eines Mädchens - Aus Omas Schlafzimmer In Den Freien Weltraum" is a colourful epic electro industrial instrumental voyage that takes a listener with its sublime spacey synths and melancholic vibe out of this planet, I can't forget the exqusite sound of harmonica in this one that just deepens the atmosphere. And it doesn't take long till Tyler amaze again with classical compositions in "Es Wartet Der Tod Auf Dem Waldpfad Geduldig" where strings, piano, flute and other classical sounds produce an enigmatic symphonic soundtrack for a gloomy fairytale. Then again, a lot of dark theatrical elements are used here and there, I was quite impressed with a psychedelic tone of "Devil Is An Old Man From Radio". The best comes with penultimate track up here "Rauch über Der Elbe". It has a lot of similarities with calmer songs of Rammstein, but with different background layers that amplificate the atmosphere and addition of female vocals performed by Natalia Abramova it really shows an amazing potential of this artist. The rest is of course not bad at all, it's well executed but at the same time it gives no special or extraordinary musical experience as those tracks mentioned before. Yes, those who search for danceable industrial music will disagree with me and they'll be right at some point, mostly because half of the songs will appeal to them and the other half to those who search for special electronic soundscapes and at the same time those will be rewarded with atmospheric sounds that offer multidimensional sonic adventure. The tiny problem is that the album sometimes losses its consistency and flow, it works out kind of broken at pieces with use of many different genres all mixed together in one work. Anyway, I enjoyed a lot Strange Days, it's well executed and composed, certainly a nice surprise and we have another artist which must be carefully followed by the lovers of the genre.

Nicely manipulated electronic sounds, strong background stories and lyrical concept, yet somehow melancholic and at the same time vivacious melodies and rhytms, everything packed with satisfying production can do a thing. There is a lot for diverse types of listeners and I recommend this album for at least to give it a try, then of course, the listeners decide...

Review written by: T.V.
Rating: 8/10