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Whispers In The Shadow - The Urgency Of Now (2018) - Review

Band: Whispers In The Shadow
Album title: The Urgency Of Now
Release date: 13 April 2018
Label: Solar Lodge

01. Watchcry
02. A Rhythm Called Zero
03. The Urgency Of Now
04. Morning Falls
05. Scavengers Of Time
06. Lake Of Fire
07. The Rat King
08. Detractors
09. Exit-Gardens

After completing their four album occult themed cycle in 2014 with the amazing and their most complete album Beyond The Cycles Of Time, we had to wait four years for a new full-length from this Austrian, easily said gothic rock legends or even cult band, Whispers In The Shadow. Until the day when the band announced a new album, the future was quite uncertain for them, there were also rumours that they will stop the band. In the meantime the mastermind Ashley Dayour was very active with his other projects, The Devil & The Universe and Near Earth Orbit. The Urgency Of Now is the bands ninth album and it brings a change in their style. The characteristic gothic rock sound which Whispers In The Shadow developed on their last four albums; starting in 2008 with Into The Arms Of Chaos, then followed by The Eternal Arcane in 2010, in 2012 came out the principal album of their career, The Rites Of Passage, and four years ago the before mentioned Beyond The Cycles Of Time; has changed and now the things are pretty different. The music of the band changed from the occult gothic rock with huge atmospheric sound into a more direct, in your face thrown post-punk with many alternative rock, punk and some darkwave influences. I have nothing against such stylistical changes, actually I'm very open for those, but the thing is that also taste matters and I must say that I prefered their last four albums over this one.

Don't understand me wrong, The Urgency Of Now is a fantastic album and those of you who missed more impact and energy on their past albums will have plenty to enjoy here. Also the lyrical thematics of the album are completely another story, there's almost nothing about occultism, magic and mysticism, and what Whispers In The Shadow talk about on this new effort is deeply rooted in the here and now, it bears a strong uncomfortable urgent message, I can say that is almost a political album and you can find more about this subject in the recent interview I did with Ashley over HERE. The Urgency Of Now is a very raw album in its core, the band didn't use practically no synths and keys, so also from this point the album is different. There are still some immersive atmospheric moments in here, but are in minority.

The album opens with the track "Watchcry" which immediately sets the tone for what's to follow. Even if the change in the sound is imminent it still has that unmistakable Whispers In The Shadow sound, mostly thanks to distinctive Dayour's vocals. Guitar riffs are raw and dirty, sometimes very "old school" post-punk smelling, don't expect to hear too much of those driving goth guitars like for example on their hit "If Uriel Falls", bass lines are strong, often reverberate and together with drums forms a powerful pounding rhythmic line. The first track that really got me is the groovy driving albums title track with a great memorable refrain, but my soul was sold when I heard the addictive moody almost balladic, rather by The Cure influenced, "Morning Falls", it's one of the best tracks they ever did, along of course with the closing one, as well the moody and quite melancholic "Exit-Gardens", with which the band offers their most unique track until now.

The rest is also tasty and well done, but to be honest nothing that special that could ignite sparks and bringing shivers down the spine. I liked the tracks like is the dark brooding "The Rat King" with a dominant reverberate bass line and drilling raw guitars. There are many nice groovy melodies also thrown throughout the album, just listen to the punkish outburst of energy named "Detractors", a track that should be a real blast when played live, but the mellowness of some other tracks ruins the good picture they somehow achived on before mentioned ones. Nevertheless, Whispers In The Shadow, didn't disappoint at all, the album is highly dynamic and these 34 minutes of playing time seem to pass in an instant. These Austrian masters of dark rock music found new ways of expression and creativity now, they sound fresh, full of ideas and full of motivation of which I'm certain that will last for a long time. The Urgency Of Now has some tracks to which I think I'll return quite often, but as the whole it's good, only not that memorable like their previous three or four albums.

Review written by: T.V.
Rating: 7,5/10


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