is the project of Roberto Conforti which he started in 1997 with Anna Cerichelli joining him that same year contributing her talents to form a duo. They worked hard to produce their first demo which earned them a deal with Decadance Records
. In 2000 they released their debut full-length album Fallen Angel
. The next two years would prove to be a defining moment in this group as Anna would leave the group with Roberto taking over all music and lyrical work for the next album. Volker Lutz (T.O.Y./Evil's Toy
) would help produce and record the sophomore release Shadows of the Lovers
. Daniela Bruno from Miriam
stepped on board to provide the female vocals for this album which would prove to be a stellar work and launch this group into the spotlight. Even though this album became quite popular in many circles, the fame of this group was still just barely spreading around the world as they worked with new promoters and other entities. While the first album had a nice synthpop style and sound, the second really brought their incredible talents out. The smooth deep male vocals and innocent female vocals blend for remarkably smooth content layered over dark and moving synths to create a mixture of a Synthpop and Darkwave sound.
After a very long break of several years we're finally presented with a new album in 2010 under the title of Darkness Prevails
. At this time we see Roberto doing the full solo work from writing, performing and vocal work. He continues to build on the solid foundation started many years ago for this third album as we look forward to many more.
Darkness Prevails - Review
It's so great to have a new album from this project that instantly became a favorite after their sophomore album.
Roberto has taken the initial solid electro-pop foundation and continued to build on it and we now have 13 new dance-friendly tracks. The album takes on the overall theme of the title with tracks centered around a darker theme that breaks through anger and sorrow on to love.
The album immediately kicks off with "Ligh Deprivation" and that trademark sound that we've grown to enjoy from the previous releases. While no credits are given to a female vocalist, this one contains at least a sample of one just lending some harmonics over the melodic synths and Roberto's vocals and thought-provoking lyrics. The pounding beat moves it all along in a danceable style that brings the energy alive throughout each piece.
With this the stage is set and much of the album is a reflection of this style and fairly homogenous. There are a few pieces that stand out in one way or another that keep the album alive and diverse. In some ways it's the lyrics such as on "Tragic Heroes", with lines like "blood of man is synging my eyes" melodically sung over a very fast-paced rhythm and layered synths. Others have a little heavier touch on the percussion like "Bio-illogical progress" that kicks off with a style like an instrumental heavy industrial band, but once the vocals and synths kick in we're brought right back in line. "Last Time" is a beautiful mid-tempo ballad while "Grim surroundings" follows with a nice melodic, upbeat synth line keeping it all quite diverse.
With thirteen tracks the album is packed with one moving piece after another. As it moves along we delve into all the previously mentioned themes and styles through tracks with titles like "Broken hearted", "Love you to death", "From here to infinity" and so on. These titles are fitting for the overall mood of each piece and the album as a whole. As we come to the final pieces the intensity and tempo backs off with "From here to infinity" as a somber piece that slowly moves along with a little more subtle percussion but dynamic pulsating electronics. "Out of control" picks up a bit in tempo, but the mood remain somber and solemn and bring us into the finale of "Face the fear". This final piece includes a sort of "pop" melody from the 80's on the synths, but somehow it manages to blend well with the overall feel of the album and this final track which is a kind of anthem for the album to overcome the darkness that prevails in the world and in our lives at times. A great ending for another wonderful album.
Shadows of the Lovers - Review
I have to admit that this group is new to me, and how I wish I would have discovered them four years ago with their debut album. This album was released two years ago, but because it's new to me and much of North America and it's so good, I decided to go ahead and review it as a new release.
Also, the latest news from this group is that they are working for another follow-up due out later this year. With this positive news, I'm more than happy to get the word about this great music.
This album brings out the best elements of the dark and moody Darkwave style and combines them with the dance-oriented Synthpop sounds. Roberto's deep, smooth vocals provide the scenic details while the excellent layered synths and driving beats are the backdrop to these stellar soundscapes. From the very beginning track I am held captive by this incredible album. "Dark Clouds" begins with the deep vocals and mixture of pulsating synths and symphonic sounds. The lyrics bring out the subtle moods that permeate this and many other tracks. Picking up the pace a bit is "everywhere was cold", easily one of the "club" hits from this album. But my favorite comes a bit later in the form of "take me". No matter where I happen to be while listening to this song I just start moving. The excellent synth loops and beat are so catchy, you just can't help yourself when it's playing. Throw into the mix the innocent, charming, yet mature and captivating vocals of Daniela Bruno and you're held helpless and entranced. Roberto's smooth vocals on the chorus add a smooth texture making this track nothing short of amazing.
With these four introductory tracks the style and content of the album is portrayed. The rest of the album follows well with this nice mixture spanning melancholy and ballad-like tracks to the fast-paced and dancey rhythms. But there are 8 more "hits" on this album, with each one easily being worth playing on any radio show or possibly at any club. "obsession" pulls out all the stops and also reaches to the quality and level of greatness as electronic greats Depeche Mode
, and with Volker Lutz listed in the production credits, this album reaches and surpasses the work of T.O.Y.
in many ways. So fans of these groups should really enjoy this album. In fact Volker even contributes a remix of "scream & die" as the finale to this album.
I think I could go on and on about all of the things I love about this album, but overall it's just very well written, produced and performed. From the vocals, synthesizers and music, it all comes together so well, I just can't find any problems with it.