This project is the solo work from the talented artist Alex Mental hailing from Russia. Started several years ago, the first official release was in the form of 2011's maxi-single Fallen Stars. The first official full-length album followed just over a year later in late 2012 with Constellation. He continued to write and compose more music, collaborating with various vocalists for two more EP's in the form of the well-received Fall 2 Pieces featuring several tracks and remixes from the previous album and later Butterfly gave us a sneak peek into the upcoming album. 2016 finally saw the release of the next LP titled Precious Paradise featuring many of the tracks presented previously on the various EPs as well as some new additions.
The music from this artist is a mix of synthpop and electro-pop with touches of techno and trance, featuring dance-friendly beats mixed with a variety of electronic loops and synthesizers. Alex composes and performs the music as well as writes many of the lyrics and then has many vocalists from prominent bands in the genre contribute their talents. Many of these names are well-recognized in the scene especially by readers here on the pages of Gothic Paradise with the likes of vocalists from Culture Kultu¨re, Pulcher Femina, Frozen Plasma, Cold in May and many others. The mix of these talented vocalists with the dance-friendly music is a great recipe for success in these genres and has been well-received around the world. We are happy to include this project here among some of our favorites and new classics.
Precious Paradise - Review
It's a pleasure to finally have a full-length album here on Gothic Paradise to present to our readers. We have such a great range of tracks presented here with so many well recognized from the two previously released EPs as well as new selections. Spanning thirteen powerful dance-friendly electro-pop tracks we have a great collection here.
Right off we're presented with some well-known tracks in the form of "Fall To Pieces", "Butterfly", "WDYWFM" and so on. All of these have become favorites over the last couple of years or so that we've been acquainted with this band. All of these tracks are favorites and our previous reviews cover them pretty well below. So for now I'll introduce the new tracks for us here at Gothic Paradise. "Pray for Me" is the first of these featuring Distain! which is another favorite synthpop band here. This smooth melodic synthpop piece slowly builds over somber melodic synth lines until the moving, yet equally somber beat kicks in. All of this backs the emotionally charged vocals we've grown to recognize from Distain! which is a great mix and adds a nice bit of variety to this album, a slight break from the intense and powerful beats and synth loops and layers on most of the other tracks. "Pain & Regrets" is a completely new selection presented just on this CD and never before relased. While the pace quickens a bit, the intensity on this track remains subdued and overall becomes a nice melodic synthpop piece with excellent piano accents and a myriad of electronic loops. This leads us to the finale of the album "Until the End" which is another somber piece following in much the same patterns of the previous couple of tracks. While all still moving and dance-friendly, the subdued atmosphere and somber moods create the perfect ending to this collection.
Butterfly - Review
After just becoming acquainted with this project with their previous EP, we were presented with this new work as a pre-cursor to their upcoming album release. Featuring five new tracks spanning the excellent electro-pop styles we have another great addition to our collection here.
We start off with the title track "Butterfly" which was originally released on a demo back in 2009, this version is a brand-new reworked version for this EP and album. The sound builds on the solid foundation of melodic synthpop with a great mix of various electronic loops and smooth vocals. As the EP moves along we're presented with the talented remix and vocals from Mind.In.A.Box on the piece "Precious Paradise" with smooth piano loops giving an introduction that fades and builds with solid beats and heavy, pulsating synth loops. On "Give Me A Memory" we're treated with the sassy female vocals from Tess Fries who we became acquainted with on the previously released EP. The addition of grinding guitars on this piece adds even more of an edge to this hard-hitting piece. The inclusion of the Unity One remix of "Butterfly" adds a new twist on this already excellent track with a different set of synth structures and various pieces reworked, removed and replaced for a nice dance-friendly take on this track. To wrap up the album we are greeted with a very somber, mid-tempo piece "Until The End" that gives more of an introspective feel, allowing the listener to take a break from the heavy beats to soak and enjoy the undulating synth-laiden soundwaves in a more relaxed mood.
Again, I don't know what more to say other than this is a great set of tracks, a great addition to our collection here. Give it a listen and see for yourself, it's worth picking up and enjoying.
Fall 2 Pieces - Review
Besides a track on the Synthematika 4 compilation, this was my first exposure to this band and I was immediately hooked with the catchy title track. This EP features some great material including a remix of the title track as well as four other stellar pieces, including the Assemblage 23 remix of WDYWFM as well as other great mixes. With six selections in all this is a great collection of dance-friendly music from start to finish.
This is a true gem with these new classic electro-pop tracks. The title track kicks it off with emotionally-rich lyrics and vocals over hard-hitting, driving synths and dance beats. These elements make it a great dance floor piece with the heavy bass structures and driving synth loops all providing an excellent back-drop to the melodic vocals. Picking right up is the equally heavy-hitting "WDYWFM", not quite as driving, but still dance-friendly and creating an excellent melodic synthpop structure. "We Are No Machines" introduces some great diversity with the female vocals of Tess Fries who also wrote the lyrics to this powerful synthpop club anthem. The powerful synth loops over moving beats with her excellent vocals provide a nice edge to this piece as the EP moves along from one dance-friendly piece to the next. The heavy beats and pulsating synth loops continue with the dark and driving "God & Devil" and "Over Horizon". With Roberto Conforti from Pulcher Femina lending his smooth vocals to the latter piece, the song structure is similar enough it almost sounds like something right out of his catalog, definitely a great addition to this disc. This brings us to the softer and appropriately named "Warmer Mix" of the title track, featuring a bit more of a minimalistic approach with the vocals taking a much more prominent role and the music being very somber and soft, including some excellent soft synths and piano for a really nice touch to wrap up the EP.
There you have it, another perfect gem to add to your electro-pop collection. Since this came out this project and this EP especially has quickly become a favorite here on Gothic Paradise, highly recommended for readers to pick up.