CD Review

Intra-Venus "Pray Silence!"

by Mike Ventarola

Pray Silence!For those not aware, the group Suspiria disbanded in 1997 due to differing creative visions. Like a phoenix from the ashes Mark Tansley, the electronic genius behind the band, teamed with a new vocalist, Apollos, and formed Intra-Venus. Pray Silence! is the result of this musical union. Mark Tansley is credited for writing and arranging the music and Apollos credited with vocals and lyrics.

The graphics on this CD utilize computer enhanced photos reminiscent of Fritz Lang's film "Metropolis." There is a stark and cold component in these graphics, meant to lead the listener down the road of the vision that Mr. Tansley set out to accomplish. Overall there is a fetid emotional dissociation that overshadows the body of this 8 song work. The lyrics to all the songs are included, which to this elder goth is always a welcome addition. Vocally, the songs reflect the man as machine ideation without the tonality of any impassioned provocation hinted through the songs delivery. This at first was quite disconcerting because it would lead one to think that this is emotionless music when in fact it is a testament towards the nihilistic view of searing away the emotional component towards personal and spiritual interaction.

The music is very much in keeping with the current trend of electronic dance music. Every cut on the CD could actually work for a dance club with 3 stand out tracks that should not be missed.

The disc opens with (Welcome to) Paradise, a mid-tempo dance track wrought with existential lyrics reflecting upon society's disenchantment and laissez-faire attitude, a hell in paradise if you will. The second cut, Last Chance, is a "shake yo' ass" song that is sure to be a dance club favorite and is one of the three songs mentioned. The elements of the music utilize current electronics but borrowed some late "disco" synth grooves with a very subtle undertone of goth minor chord elements that actually made the entirety of the song work well. The song deals with internal resolution to break away from a situation that was previously controlled by another. It is left intentionally ambiguous as to who or what was in control. Celestial Sin continues with the mechanized dance sound with a subtle house beat underneath ethereal style high notes. This is probably the closest to an homage to the dark Goddess while castigating man for playing into "her" hands due to our distorted views. Unclean with compressed vocals it is a much harder driving and pulsating beat than the other tracks. It elaborates upon the introspection of our isolation while rebuking "us" for our auto-pilot like thought processes where we have bought into the false dreams of modern man.

Feature Length is my second favorite on this disc in terms of club dance. Keeping with the spirit of forlorn separateness, this track poses the question "are you all you hoped to be" while also highlighting the sound byte element indicative of living in the spot light of today's artistic environment. We are each a player in the dark comedy of life hunting for the next angle that would bring us the comfort from a performer living on the edge. The performer willingly obliges to shatter their existence and can only hope it was "worth" it. Deathwish slows down the groove a bit to declare forthrightly the total disgust upon surveying the landscape of ones reality and the hindrances imposed upon ones will. This is very straight forward "I wash my hands of you" and "I am sick of this." Force Invisible depicts a vista of a darkened world where we are have turned our backs on the light, wandering lost and alone in a world of decimated values and suspended belief. Lastly, Paradise (dark life) brings us full circle to the opening track. This is my third not to be missed cut especially if you are a fan of the group KLF. Using the same lyrics as track one while mixing in the KLF's What Time Is Love. Basic track layering works flawlessly here. I could fathom the intention being the body of this entire work may be too cerebral for many. Hence, if this song is mixed in with the KLF song in the clubs, the vision of Intra-Venus can be ascertained in a digest version of what the album set out to do.

Overall, the message lends toward our comprehension that despite our mechanized society, we must not fall victim to thinking like machines without the utter and dire consequence to our lives and our spirit. To continue to do so would find us plummeting down the abyss of an emotionless void with no hope of returning.

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