Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Absolute Nightmares

Absolute Valentine has traded in his rich and inspiring synth sounds for an excursion into the bowels of mortal torment with his latest EP American Nightmares. This composer's previous work has explored modern touches with more emotional melodies, on this new release we find the softer and more synth romance skewed ideals thrust into violent scenes of panic laden frenzies.

It's not all black shadows and flashing blades, however, as Absolute Valentine manages take select morsels these emotional elements and contrasts them with brazenly harsh slash electro layers that add an abrasive vitality to the compositions.

I'm finding, as I hear more of these darker/harder sounds that they provide such a wonderful divergence in the 80s inspired synth sounds. The builds and agressive nature of the serrated production balances with the softer synthscapes into realm of sensual belligerence.  The territories covered on Absolute Valentine's new EP as separated by some superbly rendered interludes that begin with the introductory passage 'Lost Paradise'. Each fully developed track is bookended by these temporal distortions of imagination and reality, giving much weight and purpose to the more fleshed out set pieces.

The first of these is the title track, 'American Nightmares'. Atomic holocaust warning samples are then exploded at ground zero with a composition that builds incrementally, but deliberately to a point surging melodic afterglow that peaks with much beauty before diving into a nuclear winter of black aftermaths. The opening refrain is revisited with a modern sensibility that allows for much intensity in the pieces final sequences.

'Heartland Romance' segues between the title track and the next track with an inquisitive and slightly twisted synthscape that alludes to numerous possibilities before crunching into the unrelenting 'Terrordrome'. The power of violent drama is apparent from the outset as the drum fills accent  a moribund and melancholic melody that roars with brutishness. Delicate details ring through the later passages, taking the tone into a surprisingly peaceful direction. This idea is continued in the absolutely stunning 'Goth A.M.' interlude. A more 70s progressive synth air emanates from swirling melodies and star crossed skies. It's wonderfully delicate and moves with much grace.

Absolute Valentine soars from these lofty heights and then dives head long into salaciously perverted sleaze in 'Razorblade Kisses'. Drama is tempered by an animalistic undercurrent of oozing pleasures and filth laden fantasies. It's a short journey, but it's well worth the price of admission as the fleeting visions are remembered and felt long after the kiss has ended. It feels like this track is a run up to the strongest track on the EP, 'Chainsaw Revenge', as the music lunges forward and takes the listener into a new adventure that is absolutely rockin to the max.

'Chainsaw Revenge' is a magical piece of music, it strikes with no pretence and fakes you out in one direction before coming at you from out of your blindspot, hurtling into your psyche with megaton impact. The story is so well realised and explored that it's ironic that this piece is easily the least modernly arranged track on the EP yet proves to be it's most visionary. Regardless, this track kicks so hard that it becomes a climax to the entire experience of the release, making for the ultimate high spot before coming down with the aptly chilling finishing piece 'Sweet Sweet Death'.

Absolute Valentine presents the American Nightmare EP on his Bandcamp page here. I'm not sure if this release is a seasonal experimental project or a full change in direction but either way this EP is a fantastic soundtrack to inspire terror and fear and even a bit of lust this Halloween. The brevity of some of the tracks makes me want more, in some respects. However the entire EP,  when listened to as one complete experience, is totally rockin and with the climax of 'Chainsaw Revenge' one definitely feels duly satisfied with contents. I can wholeheartedly recommend this EP to all lovers of the darker side of the synth, rock it after midnight and let Absolute Valentine become your favourite new nightmare.

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