Dark Entries is an independent Belgian music webzine with a focus on dark sounds. The webzine itself is completely in Dutch and can be found at www.darkentries.be. This blog was created with the intention to have an additional online place where our editors can post their English articles.
zondag 14 juni 2020
Amorphous - Moth Metaphor (CD review)
Genre: dark electro Label: Razgrom Music Rating: 8,5/10
After almost 3
months without any "offline" social music interaction, you would
almost forget: there is still such a thing as a dark electro scene. Small and
mostly centered in a handful of European countries, but it does exist. I cannot
put in words how much I miss traveling to Germany in particular to meet my
foreign friends and attend small-scale underground club shows with them. Sure,
you keep in touch through social media and some artists engage in live
streams, but it is not the same thing. Dark electro is so much more than just a
music style: it is a source of friendship across borders.
I have seen Gil Oliveira Santos 3
times in person so far. On 2 of these occasions, he was on stage himself; the last
time we were watching a Placebo Effect show together at a club in Madrid.
Actually, I had hoped to see him on stage on the third occasion as well, because
Amorphous is great live. One could witness that at his performances at Lauscher
vs Oldschool (Erfurt) in 2018 and Dark EBM Souls (Bratislava) in 2019. In the
90s, Gil was a member of the Brazilian dark electro band Morgue / Morgue
Mechanism, so he is definitely not a newcomer. No, he is someone who has heard
the call of dark electro after more than 15 years of absence and has returned as a solo
'Moth Metaphor' is
the long-awaited fifth Amorphous album and the latest addition to a discography
that further consists of 'Behaviourism', 'Shapeshifting', 'Shapeless' and the
live recording of the Dark EBM Souls show. It is also the most distinct
"old-school" Amorphous release to date. Whereas 'Shapeshifting' still
contained a mix of dark electro, EBM, minimal synth and even techno, Gil goes full-on
dark electro this time. It is also striking that there is only 1 remix on 'Moth
Metaphor' (and only as a bonus track), knowing that 'Behaviourism' and
especially 'Shapeless' were mainly remix albums. This time, the emphasis is completely
on new work, which is something I can only applaud.
It took me a while
before I could really appreciate the new album. 'Kingdom Of Darkness' and
'Unknown Things' immediately stood out for me and I still consider them to be the
best tracks. The catchy 'Unknown Things' is also one of my most favourite
Amorphous songs of all time. But I struggled a bit morewith the rest of
the album, especially with the more minimalistic tracks 'Blackout' and
'Episode' and also to a lesser extent 'Wasteland' and 'How It All Goes Down'.
In the meantime, I have changed my mind and I do think that 'Moth Metaphor' is generally
good, although I am still not a fan of 'Episode', which, with its guitar sound,
is too alternative to my liking. 'Secret Place', on the other hand, really appeals
to me, especially because of the piano and the compelling singing style, which
is something I also noticed in 'Kingdom Of Darkness'. 'Nonlinear Future' is
probably the most "trademark" Amorphous track and leans more towards the
style on 'Shapeshifting'. Finally, there are 2 tracks without Gil's vocals,
more specifically the instrumental 'The Mystery Man' (in which only samples can
be heard) and the bilingual spoken word track 'Our Deepest Fear'. The latter is
special, as the text is a poem by our very own Jacques Brel, which is read in
both its original French-language version and an English translation by the Canadian
actor Dennis O'Connor. I had to inquire about it, but Gil has found this rendition
on YouTube. So it is not his voice that you hear, although it could have been.
As far as I know, he speaks at least 3 languages (English, Portuguese and
As the physical
release had been delayed due to the corona crisis and the fans had to wait a little
longer, Gil has decided to add 3 bonus tracks to the CD. 'Confinamiento' is a
Spanish-language song that I would describe as contemporary electro with techno
influences. No dark electro, but good nonetheless. 'Kingdom Of Darkness (Empire
Version)' is the only remix on this album and is not inferior to the original.
Both versions are great, with the remix sounding even darker and more ominous.
Finally, 'A New Morning' is a pure instrumental in the ambient style.
Personally, I do not like instrumentals and certainly not ambient, but that
does not mean it is not well-made.
'Moth Metaphor' is
released on a Russian label, but you can also order the CD directly from the
artist (Gil lives in England). As always, it is recommended to check out
Bandcamp and Facebook.