By Theo DeRoth
I knew I liked Realism the moment I heard the
opening of The Unknown, the third track on the album. Unlike
Realist and Statik, the previous two tracks, it begins softly,
with a tiny, beautiful, music-box sound. This soon fades into a dark forest of
synth, and is joined by an enchanting female vocal. Suddenly a low, gnome-like
voice joins in. Then the beat picks up and the song really starts.
This opening is what characterize Sterils
Realism and makes it interesting, rather than another drum machine.
While the sound is often angry and industrial, there are moments of beauty
reminiscent of the early 4AD sound.
But the anger of Mähne Meenen, Sterils lead
vocalist, is incredible. His voice is raw and strong when he sings and carries
the wrath of a Lovecraftian god when he shouts. Its really something. And
this is in keeping with the rest of the music. Jan Wilking and Axel Tasler, the
bands guitarist and keyboardist respectively, as well as the joint
programmers, do an excellent job.
Actually, if any fault is to be found with the album,
its with the lyrics. While sometimes theyre quite interesting
Swordsmen of the Crown reminds one of Dying Earth-style science
fiction a la M. John Harrison too often they simply express a rather
hackneyed political viewpoint or post-modern angst that this reviewer finds
dull. However, the music that surrounds the lyrics is so powerful yet delicate,
rich but strong, that what theyre actually saying hardly matters.
This album creates frightful soundscapes, conjuring images
of blasted cities and evil machines. If this is the kind of thing you like,
then I suggest that you go straight to Amazon and buy it.
Post: Box 68039, RPO Osborne Village, Winnipeg, MB, R3L 2V9, Canada
Phone: (905) 707-6283
Click to Buy!