Sentinel of Eternity - Review
This project is the work of Stephane Marty and features the vocals of Sebastian Elliott and Salandre. The music is a great mix of melodic electro-pop and dark wave for a set of great dance-friendly tracks. The album consists of eleven of these stellar pieces for a nice variety and a great selection of music. The album has been in the works for a few years but has finally been released for everyone to enjoy.
The album starts off with the driving beats and layered synths for on "Cyberia" for an excellent instrumental introductory piece. The music here shows the foundation for the tracks on this album is these heavy beats and electronic loops form a powerful aural tapestry and background for the vocals on most of the rest of the tracks. "Surrender" picks right up with this dance-friendly music as Elliott's deep vocals provide a solid melodic anchor as Salandre provides something of an angelic element with her backing vocals on the chorus. This fast-paced piece blends and fades right into "Mandragore" which has quickly become a favorite from this album for me as well as on our radio shows. The heavily layered bass and synths form a dark and brooding back-drop to the upbeat music and Elliott's deep and passionate vocals. The emotion is thick on this piece as the music glides along intensely yet smooth as silk with all the loops, beats and samples all coming together perfectly. As the album moves along we're treated with this solid, emotionally charged mood and moving rhythms from one track to the next. The heavy synths forming a great foundation as we're presented with some variety with Salandre taking up the female vocals on "Desire" and moving right into the driving instrumental piece appropriately named "Monolith".
At this point we've reached something of a halfway point on the album and we're launched back into the emotionally charged "The Exchange" with elements similar to "Mandragore", heavy synths, hand-clip percussion and Elliott's dark and brooding vocals. Intestingly enough I'm usually a sucker for heavenly female vocals any day, but Elliott's deep vocals really carry this album, while they're deep and brooding, yet emotionally charged and melodic for a realy nice touch to the driving electronic music. "Awake my Senses" picks up with a bit heavier style with the heavy percussion taking more of a prominent role and additional sounds and samples such as siren and layer upon layer of electronic loops and heavy, pulsating synths. At this point we're brought to another favorite on this album in the form of "Out of the Ashes". Again, Elliott's vocals are perfect for this moving piece as the lyrics are thought-provoking and anthemic while the pulsating electronics provide a great back-drop while the pounding beats help drive it all home to the listener's soul, providing a sort of triumphant overture, lifting the listener up to rise to new heights, a truly inspirational piece. This becomes something of a climax to the album as we're left with "The Sentinel" as a somewhat somber, yet moving piece and fading into the downtempo piece "Something in the Wind". This piece presents us with some dreamy piano and ballad-like structure and vocals while spatialized, swooshing synths create the ambient soundscapes and background for it all. Which brings to the finale in the form of "Eternity", a final inspirational instrumental track with all the great elements we've grown to love, including some additional bombastic pipe organ to wrap it all up, forming a dreamy, yet moving final touch to it all.
This is a great album in it's entirety and the various vocal pieces mentioned definitely stand out on their own. Fans of emotionally-driven and melodic, dark electro-pop music will definitely enjoy this work.