Exponentia – Abend

Rating: 1.5/5
Distributor/label URL: https://www.facebook.com/NerisRecords/
Released: 2016
Buy Album [URL]: https://exponentia.bandcamp.com/album/abend
Band Website: https://www.facebook.com/Exponentia/

Band Line-up:

Ludovic Dhenry – everything

Tracklisting:

1. Existenz
2. Die Schatten
3. Abend
4. Neblig und Kalt
5. Fliehen
6. Geister im Traum
7. Die Blume der Finsternis
8. Erster Tag
9. Und Sie schreien
10. Unsicherheit

Review:

Exponentia is a French act on Neris Records. It was started in 2012 and since then has released four albums. Its latest one ‘Abend’, was released in 2016 and is the subject of this review. The project describes its style as a mixture of gothic, classical, darkwave and electronic music. Ludovic Dhenry is the man behind it, and is responsible for the cover artwork, arrangements, orchestration, production, mixing, mastering and vocals. His vocal style is dark and demonic and is electronically modified.

It’s a little pretentious Exponentia calling itself ‘classical’ because its music is nowhere near as sophisticated as the genre. With occasional exceptions, it’s extremely amateurish in terms of the very basic chords and the dull melodies. ‘Neblig und Kalt’ and ‘Fliehen’, with their lush harmony aren’t that bad, however. The music is also far more repetitive than the centuries old form. The material barely even sounds like it at all. It is more like third-rate industrial music, but with tacky sounding orchestral instruments added such as strings and flutes. They sound so fake they really should be replaced with synths or guitars if finding real musicians was not an option.

The distorted guitars mostly sound much better in terms of production, but they are equally annoying. Power chords go on and on with limited variations in rhythm or indeed anything, further making the development mostly weak. (Though ‘Die Blume der Finsternis’ does build up quite nicely in places). Unfortunately, there is also very little variety anywhere else in the album (apart from in the surprisingly decent and pretty song ‘Unsichheit’) and it goes on for way too long. Everything sounds extremely rushed. The interesting, spooky singing style is the only real element of the music that can be taken seriously. It’s not exactly great, but it wouldn’t be out of place in a Rammstein-like band.

In conclusion, this is not worth your time to listen to. You could describe this music as ‘hypnotic’ technically speaking, but if that’s what you’re into, find yourself something with decent tunes and that was created with at least some professionalism. I can’t think of anyone I would recommend this stuff to and it is certainly not a ‘grower’. I’m sure Dhenry is capable of much greater things as he does have his moments, however.

Review by Simon Wiedemann
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