zondag 30 juli 2017

Pyrroline - In The Dawn Of Freedom (CD review)






Genre: EBM - Electro
Rating: 8,5/10

"We live in one world. We are one people." The German dark electro band Pyrroline has returned with a remarkable concept album after 4 years. The post-apocalyptic theme of the previous album 'Ruins Outlast' has made room for a slightly more politically inspired theme: the Croatian War of Independence between 1991-1995. Not exactly the most evident subject in the dark electro scene, but husband and wife Arnte and Schmoun have done it, anyway. Do not expect lyrics like "I don't remember humans." and samples from 'The Terminator' this time, but tracks about courage, hope and love in the battle for people's independence. No futuristic war against fictional intelligent machines, but a real human conflict which happened less than 30 years ago.

Pyrroline is a band which is known for its complex, multi-layered song structures which evoke the classic dark electro feeling of the 90s. 'Ruins Outlast' was a particularly melodic album and 'In The Dawn Of Freedom' is no different. However, the new album features significantly more old-school EBM rhythms and other elements (e.g. 'Maria', 'Succeed', 'End Of The Path'). Another difference is that Arnte uses various vocal effects and therefore, does not limit himself to his characteristic whisper-like vocals which dominated 'Ruins Outlast'. My 2 favourite tracks on the new album, 'Divine Revelation' and 'Dismantled Society', both feature vocal effects which are rather atypical for Pyrroline. In the more EBM-inspired songs (especially 'Succeed'), the vocals are even so unusual that I would never have figured that this is Arnte, let alone Pyrroline. I can only approve of this variation in vocal effects, especially as Schmoun does not sing on this album for some strange reason. Pyrroline has even gone further and has invited a certain Emdezet as guest vocalist. 'With You' features both vocals and lyrics of this guy, but I cannot say that I like it. As a mellow love song with synthpoppy vocals, this feels out of place, not only on an album about the Croatian War of Independence, but just on any Pyrroline album or dark electro album in general. This is my only point of criticism with regards to 'In The Dawn Of Freedom', which is truly a lovely album.

Just like the previous album, the new album features some instrumentals, of which 'Vukovar' is my favourite. And also this time, there are 2 remixes on the CD. One Eye Wanders has made a catchy, albeit barely recognisable electro remix of 'Divine Revelation'. kFactor's hypnotising EBM remix of 'One People' has a clearer link to the original, even though you have to listen carefully. If you purchase the digital version of the album on Bandcamp, you will get a third remix: the Soillodge remix of 'Nothing To Lose'. In my opinion, this is the best one. Michael Renfield has re-made this track in an exceptionally melodic manner. Especially the part between 1:53 and 3:38 has been haunting me for weeks. This is a true dark electro gem; I would even dare to say better than the original. Too bad there was not enough space left on the CD.

With 'In The Dawn Of Freedom', Pyrroline has proven once again that it belongs to the top of the contemporary dark electro. Hopefully, we will not have to wait another 4 years for the next album. Either way, I am very much looking forward to their gig at the Lauscher Festival in Erfurt on 23 September.

CD review: Marjolein Laenen





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