Butterfly Messiah Eternal
By Ray Van Horn, Jr.
It may be a dated and clichéd saying, but
practice makes perfect. After showing great promise on their It's
Time(1) EP, Florida's Butterfly Messiah digs deep, finds its niche and
delivers their finest effort to date, the stylish and sincere Eternal.
For Today opens with a solid, expert dance beat,
establishing a confident pace to Eternal. Shannon Lyn Garson's vocals
have sharpened; she and her mates Robert Davis and Joshua Harrington mean
business with this vibrant jam that turns aggressive on The Circle, a
song with Revenge-esque edginess, a sinister trip melody that is likewise
delicious. Shannon Lyn Garson's Goth swoons deliver a sharp interface to this
hard dance number. It's Time is, of course, a carryover from the EP and
might be considered a cheap fill-in weren't it possibly Butterfly Messiah's
signature song. The exhilarating chorus alone is a perfect realization of the
trio's strengths that have increased twofold since their debut,
Eternal takes an old school groove and gives it a
Gothic upgrade. Garson's vocals are possessive as they are straightforward. Her
trademark Medieval-like sways are noticeably absent in what could be construed
as a throwback pop song influenced by Flock of Seagulls or Erasure. With
Roses continues this trend with its timeless beatbox tempo even more akin
to Erasure than the title track. The keyboard sequences on With Roses are a
clever touch. Not exactly a typical Butterfly Messiah song, but a highly
enjoyable foray into classic alternative.
Virtual is stripped down to a quick dance tempo with
singular melody notes that are almost monophonic, yet they guide the assertive
tempo as the group integrates a good mix of Garson's vocals. Grey is
laid-back and sultry, reminiscent of mid-career Depeche Mode, while
Ascension features a highlight reel of Garson's capabilities which
accents an otherwise derivative song. Robert Davis' whispers on
Ascension lend an air of mystery unfurled by the peppy double-time key
strikes in the latter half of the song. Believe is a ballady synth pool in
which Garson swims delightedly.
Falling Stars is the crowning achievement of
Eternal, a daring and often tricky song that has verses of trip-hop ala
Chemical Brothers, then assumes a glorious and divine chorus with ear-pleasing
high notes from both the synths and Garson's voice. When Falling Stars
shifts gears again in the next stanza, it appears to be a totally different
song, a skillful swap to a piano melody treated with a synth effect that sounds
like a cyber rupture of its deep bass background. Masterfully woven, Falling
Stars gives way to the calypso orientation of Aeon, then concluded by the
pounding dance floor finale, Counterstrike, which thumps along in
Butterfly Messiah may well be one of the premiere
electronica artists of its time. The hard work this band has subjected itself
to is evident on Eternal. With some love from house DJs, Butterfly
Messiah may soon become a household name of the genre along with Paul Oakenfold
or Faithless. Creamfields, here they come.
(1) Reviewed in
Reviewed in Legends #129.
The Fossil Dungeon
Post: 43796 Tattinger Ter, Ashburn, VA, 20148-3125, USA
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