Conjuring images of Nine Inch Nails and Depeche Mode, Denormal seems to blend the industrial dance of the former with the croony progressive synthpop infused rock sound of the later. Dancey distorted acid inspired synth and bass sounds are prevalent throughout the release, creating an energetic appeal to the album. Gated and glitched techno inspired synth leads populate certain songs, keeping the album playful despite it’s melancholic nature. However the energy never outweighs the moody angst filled venom that is so pointedly spit throughout the release.
Droning atmospheres wash themselves through the album, and are fittingly answered with haunting vocals that are the perfect blend between Peter Murphy from the Bahaus and Dave Gahan from Depeche Mode. The singer finds himself croaking and crooning with strength and talent, never faltering in his delivery, which will find this album easily satisfying any fans of gothic rock, darkwave, or moodier synthpop.
Continuing the trend of albums I’ve been listening to, the dynamic nature of the album truly makes it stand out the most. Containing an interesting mixture of dance pop song sensibilities, often played with or through dissonant industrial or rock based sounds. The guitar sounds throughout the album conjure up a perfect amount of rock tone, but seamlessly blend with the electronic elements, fusing the sound in a way that hasn’t been touched since Songs of Faith and Devotion in the 90s.
However, it’s not the guitars that are the star of the album for me, but the moody sustained haunting choirs and swirling pads which contribute to an overall ethereal and gothic feel. A gothic feel which is heavily exaggerated by lyrics which focus on usual trope of introspection, religion, morality, and sin. Furtherly, the symphonic elements in the album often push the release into the darkwave territory, blending the distinction between genre and style in this release, creating a truly unique experience.
Though the album may not be to everyone’s taste, due to it’s bleak lyrical subjects, and overemphasis on moodiness and angst, to anyone who appreciates their music a bit darker and eclectic, this is not an album to miss!
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