By Marcus Pan
Swedens Backlash have brought out
their promised two-disc Heliotrope album as foreshadowed when I reviewed
their Lodestar single. Released officially on February 22 of 2006,
Heliotrope has a soothing movement and trance-quality style to its
otherwise EBM synths. This is their first LP release in three years to reach
America, using WTII as a bridge over the ocean. Their sound is strong, smooth
and melodic with New Order style movements and excellent make-up and
Opening with Lodestar, which we covered extensively
not long ago, we move on to Heliotrope. The namesake of the album has
heavy funky bass movements and interesting percussion make up that keeps a
low-down sound with visiting synths punctuating the dirge like commas in a
well-versed piece of prose. Pin Me Down shows Backlashs prowess at
using trance keyboard movements and anchoring it to vocals in an EBM style
without losing any of the meaning from either genre.
I dig The Wrench of Partings low-brow movements
which combines nicely with the higher tinkling keyboard licks. Purity for a
Sinner has synth movements that somehow remind me of video games, at least
during higher-lick parts. By Hiatus we start getting a bit futuresque as
Heliotrope continues on, also played out in Hunt following.
Splinter picks up the pace a bit with a faster BPM and stompier
percussion. The first disc of Heliotrope closes with the 17 plus minute
Shiver, a trancey, loping-rhythm song with bubbly percussion and
harpsichord like synthetics and slow, smooth vocals.
The second bonus CD of the Heliotrope release
contains a number of remixes to Lodestar, Hunt, Splinter and others.
Quite easy to get lost in these nine tracks as they swirl about. The
Splinter (zeb mix) on track 3 is interesting with its use of static
scratches as rhythm. The loping weirdness of the Grass Clipper Mix of
Lodestar has a nice bass effect that rises and falls surrealistically.
Blinds Hunter Mix on track 5 is pure goa
trance with stompy rhythms and computeresque synthesizers. Its rave at
its finest and slides in some chat effects later just to keep the trance going.
Keep Throwing it Away (zeb mix) has a similar trancey vibe but slows it
down much. The closing track, Hunt (zeb mix), slows it down nicely, with
eyes-closing movements and subtle electronic melodies that hover us slowly out
of the Heliotrope mix.
Oskar Lygner, Erik Torstensson and Niklas Lundquist have a
good release on their hands. With the support of label WTII theyll do
quite fine, and with a good EBM-trance offering as Heliotrope
theres really nothing more than lack of notoriety that is keeping
Post: PO Box 13495, Chicago, IL, 60613, USA
Phone: (773) 755-2415
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