Oneiroid Psychosis - "Garden of Remembrance"
By Rat Bastard
Garden of Remembrance
is the third full length album from brothers Lars and Leif Hansen, collectively
known as Oneiroid Psychosis, and one of the first offerings from the new
darkwave label, Nilaihah. Those familiar with Oneiroid Psychosis' previous
releases can expect to hear more of the same: another collection of
well-crafted dark and atmospheric songs, with lots of creepy synthwork and, of
course, the icy and sinister, yet eerily melodic, voice of Lars Hansen.
The opening song, Dark Day, sets the tone for the
entire album, within which not a single happy major key melody is to be found.
In short, bouncy dance music seekers should look elsewhere for entertainment.
Even the more upbeat pieces, such as October, seem much more suited for
stalking to than for dancing. Lars and Leif Hansen have a definite liking for
more "organic" synth patches (harpsichords, pianos, strings) which predominate
throughout the album and keep the music decidedly separate from most electro
dance music. Of course, there are many who will have no problems stomping
around to A Soul Upon All This, which moves along noisily at a moderate
death-march pace. Still others will find it more suitable to just sit still let
themselves be lost in the morose musical wonderland presented for them,
especially during the album's more dirge-like moments.
Instrumental pieces are spaced throughout, providing even
more atmosphere to an album already chokingly thick with it. While the music of
the entire album can stand well on its own, I think that Lars' vocals really
help Oneiroid Psychosis to stand out (or perhaps "overshadow" would be a more
appropriate term here). Crystal clear and equally as sharp, they add a certain
edge that the oft-heard distorted cookie-monster vocals could never hope to.
Several of the songs on
Garden of Remembrance remind me of something not unlike what I might
expect to hear performed by Sopor Aeternus (or rather, they sound like what I
imagine an electro version of Sopor Aeternus might sound like). This is, of
course, not a criticism, but a comparison for the sake of additional
description (and just a personal observation). As an aside, I would also
suggest that anyone pleased by Garden of Remembrance give Sopor Aeternus
a listen as well.
All in all, I am very pleased with this album, and plan to
check out Oneiroid Psychosis' previous work (from which I've only heard the odd
song here and there). I heartily recommend Garden of Remembrance to any
fan of the electro/darkwave genre, especially those seeking something with a
bit more bite than much of what passes for 'darkwave' these days. Granted, the
term 'darkwave' is a little ambiguous, but Oneiroid Psychosis is one of the few
bands to which the term can be fully (and appropriately) applied.
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