Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Dance With The Dead Into The Abyss

Dance With The Dead (DWTD) were one of the biggest surprises of 2013 in the world of 80s inspired synth music. This duo had toiled furiously throughout the year and released of the albums of the year in Out Of Body. The album was epic beyond description in it's presence and power with monstrous arrangements being engineered to nefarious ends. DWTD's sense of atmosphere and building intensity is what makes their synthscapes so remarkably compelling, now with their new release, Into The Abyss, we get to experience the next chapter in the DWTD experience.

Into The Abyss is definitely a different animal to Out Of Body. The production is much more natural sounding, adding a new layer of atmosphere to the music and the huge amount of guitars and electronic strings give an organic and orchestral element to the movements. The rockin intensity and visceral nature of the DWTD sound is still ever present only now it takes on even more base instincts as the six tracks pummel you into submission with one arm while caressing the side of your cheek gently with the other.

Setting the underwater scene with sonar beeps and a cacophony of otherworldly sounds the terror begins to take form in 'Battle'. Massive drama is punctuated by huge drum fills and screaming guitars as the behemoth wakes from it's sea bed slumber and begins to rise from it's sandy grave. Synths drive the melodies into new, uncharted waters with guitars mirroring their movements in a calm before the storm that explodes with huge, pounding waves of ferocity. This opener sets up the rest of the EP incredibly well, tight and action packed, yet drawing much beauty in the melodic refrains.

The second track, 'Moon Runner' finds DWTD taking a measured and richly detailed approach to a piece that is much less brutal than 'Battle'. Melodies are delicate, full of sparkling nuance, and the backing string section adds a grandiose and robust background to the canvas. The music glides in its own zero gravity ballet, graceful and bright with the guitars charging the atmosphere with electrifying voltage.

'Mask' continues this measured approach with OutRun coloured elements cruising into a scene that builds its intensity with deliberate and calculated arrangements. The new DWTD design keeps things very much under control however,  even as aural guitar thunderbolts are cast down from the heavens the ambience is controlled and the reigns are kept taut. Its an atmosphere that is like being in a bullet proof shield in the middle of a hellish crossfire, invoking a calm serenity amid chaotic brutality.

You can drink in these heady atmospheres even deeper in the follow up track 'Odyssey' as a hard rockin guitar swagger strolls in from the horizon. Unrushed, unflappable, and cool as absolute fuck. The saunter remains unchanged as melodies ascend and the landscape is set afire. The drama and intrigue create nail biting tension while the lone figure continues unabated. Singularly minded; a natural disaster waiting to happen.

Things take a new turn and go decidedly more pop oriented on track five 'Suede'. Huge hooks of catchy melodies sweep beautifully in and around the totally rad guitar tracks and introduce a (dare I say it) playfulness to the synthscape which is totally kick arse. The synths rock even harder than guitars but are soon quelled of their combustible energies before the track becomes an neon explosion.

The EP finishes with much greater introspection with the orchestrally crafted 'No Survivors'. Introductory passages of uplifting reverence lead us into purely soundtrack driven components which are allowed to rise and fall with a universal heart beat. Fading away, into the setting sun on the horizon, the giant glowing orb takes one last dip before the glow of pinks, blues and oranges are met with the darkness of the new night sky.

I believe Into The Abyss is a bridging release, between the Out Of Body, and the next full length album from DWTD, not just because of it's chronological position, but more because the ideas and synthscapes crafted in these tracks are still yet to be fully realised. Many, many new possibilities for new definitions of the DWTD experience are hinted at in every composition and I feel these experiments will take off to even greater dimensions come their next album. What Into The Abyss does is take us deeper, into expansive new territory but the aural beings are yet to make full contact with us, and instead shimmer in the depths, alluding to incredible new treasures, ones just out of arms reach... for now.

Dance With The Dead present the Into The Abyss EP on their Bandcamp page here and Synthetix.FM very, very highly recommends this release as a demo-reel of what this kick arse duo are capable of with their ever evolving sounds. The tracks contained on this EP are all superbly crafted and are hugely rewarding to experience. I can't help but think Dance With The Dead are merely pulling back the curtain to us, ever so briefly in preparation for their next full length adventure. For now, take that trip, Into The Abyss and experience the wonders of another world courtesy of these wonderfully talented producers.

No comments:

Post a Comment