Deranged - Review
Continuing the large and growing discography from this artist, we have this latest album from Nathan Reiner, known as Third Realm
This album presents us with a dynamic range of styles and moods from the dark and brooding to the harsh and aggressive pieces. All of these building on the sound and style we've grown to know and recognize from this artist.
Spanning eleven tracks, we have a broad range here as we dive into the album. It starts off with the high adrenaline piece "Immortal". It stands out as a favorite and has received great ratings by our listeners and has been in our top 10 throughout much of 2015. As such, it serves as a great introduction to the album as the driving rhythm with the solid pulsating electronics and grinding guitars all create a nice solid backdrop to the anthem-like vocals that really bring the power out in this piece. One thing we've grown to expect and enjoy from this project is the emotional intensity whether it's portrayed through the onslaught of driving guitars and pounding beats or through dark and brooding pulsating electronics and vocals to match. We continue to get a good taste of this as the album progresses with "Sick Mind" with catchy rhythms and the inclusion of backing guest vocalist Aoife O'Leary of Moth Complex
. "Heart Attack" continues on in much the same vein before throwing aside much of the harsh distortions on many tracks, we're then presented with a solid electro-pop piece in "Clarity". While we still get the subtle grinding guitars, the melodic electronics rule this track with a solid fist, creating a dance-friendly, upbeat piece on this otherwise intensely dark album.
At about the halfway point we see a small shift in the rhythm and tempo as we drift into a philosophical track "Elitism of the Underground Scene". This piece reminds me so much of the height of the goth scene when everyone was searching for an identity and the elitism that surfaced in the club scenes. The lyrics portray this irony well backed by dark and moody music. The title track to the album picks it up from here with an extremely intense mix of driving electronics, beats and most of all intense, shouting vocals. Almost as if being physically and emotionally spent from that onslaught we move on into something of a dark and brooding downtempo piece "We All Die". This sets it up for a few final selections on the album featuring a couple of stand-out favorites in the form of "Purify" and "Broken Throne". This pair of pieces hearken back to some of the previous releases where much of the emphasis was on the dark and pulsating electonics, while still presented with an up-beat rhythm, it's not the onslaught of in-your-face harshness we sometimes experience. This brings us to the final couple of tracks as "Two-Faced Droids" keeps the beat going for another few minutes before dropping off into the thick and oozing emotional onslaught of the downtempo piece "Denial". This brooding piece pours it on thick with a subtle beat and somber music tracks, featuring the rare acoustic guitar backing the pleading, dark and heavy vocals portraying the hopeless nature of the lyrics.
Fans of this dark and brooding mix of goth, industrial and electro have a real treat here. It breaks the mold enough to be interesting and keep the listener's attention while staying true to the sound and foundation we've heard on past releases. Another nice album in the long discography from this artist.
New World Order - Review
Here we have the fourth album from this solo project hot on the heals of their previous release.
For those familiar with the previous album, there's still some of the slower, darker pieces but for the most part we have a much more aggressive, politically-charged collection of tracks here, spanning a dozen pieces total.
The aggressive nature of the album kicks in almost immediately with "Set the World on Fire", kicking off with a heavy, distorted beat and pulsating bass. At first it sounds like another dark, electro-goth piece from this artist, then the chorus kicks in and we get a taste of the aggression with the harsh, shouting vocals, belting out the political and social protesting lyrics. This harsh, cynical protest and aggression continues on through break-neck speeds and grinding guitars throughout several more tracks on the album. Often somewhat subdued through each verse and then pouring on the harsh, grinding elements for each chorus.
For fans of the darker, electro-goth styles there's still plenty of that on this album mixed in with the heavy, pounding beats and grinding guitars. "Delusional Ecstasy" is presented almost halfway through the album with a mid-tempo beat and the dark, moody stuctures and vocals. For those who don't mind the endless number of covers of "Cry Little Sister", we have here a good version, really staying true to the original style we first heard and fell in love with back in the 80's. Following right on the hills we have a personal favorite of mine, "Freedom". The aggression is subdued and the raw emotions shine across a solid electro-pop, dance-friendly style and beat and various synth loops for a catchy, emotionally and physically moving track. As we near the end of the album, another dark, mid-tempo piece stands out with "Sleep Forever", still expressing angst and sadness about the social injustice that prevails in the world today in many ways, yet done through a dark, electro-goth style. And this brings us to the finale to the album which sets aside all aggression and presents the message of "The Death of Hope" with beautiful piano and soft, subdued electronic layers, bringing the album softly and sweetly to a close.
With that the album comes to a close and so does this review. Overall this is definitely still Third Realm
, recognizable and enjoyable, crossing genre boundaries into a more industrial style, yet still presenting plenty of the darker, moodier pieces we've grown to enjoy from past works. Definitely a nice addition to any collection.
Romantic Death - Review
This project is the brainchild of solo artist Nathan Reiner and features an excellent style of dark electro-goth music.
This is the third full-length album from this project and features a dozen of these dark, pulsating tracks.
It all starts off with "Kiss of the Scorpion", a mid-tempo piece that serves as a great introduction to the album. From the beginning mid-tempo, heavy percussion, layered electronics and haunting piano, this piece has quickly become a personal favorite as well as for the Gothic Paradise listeners as it quickly jumped into our top ten and remained steady for several weeks. Undulating heavy bass moves the track along with all of the cliche goth sounds forming around the heavy reverb and moody vocals. The album moves along across a variety of styles and tempos, but remaining grounded in the various gothic-related themes. Some are easily considered club-friendly pieces with the heavy, fast-paced beats with the moving pulsating synths. The vocal structure and processing remains somewhat consistent throughout and a bit predictable, though we get just enough variation to keep it interesting, such as the raw sound on "Bullet Proof Soul", vs the heavy echo on many other pieces. The interjection of heavy, grinding guitar on this piece also adds more dynamics to the emotionally dripping pieces. In contrast, the electronics on the next piece "Epidemic", are very heavy and bring on more of a mid-tempo industrial style, similar to what you might find in the slower Decoded Feedback
pieces, an excellent mix of the moody vocals with this heavier electronic style.
The title track appears just previous to the halfway point on the album and also remains one of the few, downtempo ballad-like pieces. However, the next piece "Her Rosary" was quickly the next highlight and quick favorite for me as I've listened to the album several times. It's another piece that mixes the best of heavy, dark-electro with the emotionally drenched, gothic lyrics and vocals. The dance-friendly beat is an added bonus that makes it accessible for the clubs and a broader audience. As we move on through the latter half of the album we get a bit more of everything from the dance-friendly pieces with the heavy vocal echo on "Whispers of Heavenly Sorrow" and "September Ashes". Other pieces move along slowly much like the previously mentioned downtempo ballads, all still majestic and keeping the dark-electro foundation. All of these are stellar pieces in their own style and context, "This Mortal Coil" is something sincere and moving and it all comes to a final climax in "Black Roses For My Muse" to wrap up the album. All in all it's another stellar work, not your standard industrial or goth album, but something in between, a good mix of all worlds, something that a broad audience and fanbase can enjoy.