Buy Album [URL]: https://www.metropolis-records.com/product/11727/dark-nouveau
Band Website: N/A
01 She Past Away – Asimilasyon
02 Antipole – Deco Blue
03 Ash Code – Posthuman
04 Shadow Age – In Snow
05 Hante – Silence The Voices
06 Balvanera – Compression (The Absent)
07 NOIR – A Pleasure to Burn
08 Skeleton Hands – Unwanted
09 Dancing Plague – An Endless Want
10 PushButtonPress – Hypatia
11 Night Nail – Nowhere
12 FTR – Black Sand1
13 Canter – Black Bag
14 Decedent vs Slighter – Hyper-Aware (Corrupti…
15 Dark Door – Deforme
16 Seeming – The Burial
17 The Harrow – Ringing The Changes
18 Dead Leaf Echo – You.My.Treasure
19 Twin Tribes – Shadows
20 Weird Candle – Alchemist
21 Paradox Obscur – Flesh-2
22 The Shyness of Strangers – Serpent River
23 IAMTHESHADOW – Ashes
24 Inopera – Nepenthe
Hailed as an attempt to bring together all sub-genres of Darkness from around the world, from Post Punk, Industrial and Synthwave to Goth and Dark Wave, ‘Dark Nouveau’ is a collection from places as varied as Turkey and Argentina, 24 different bands each submitting a track to showcase this breed of music under one banner. Metropolis Records have released this as digital only, meaning it was exceptionally cheap to put together, and not one of the 24 bands have I ever heard of before, I now know the reason.
The album is dedicated to Scott Walker, who died earlier this year.
Opening with She Past Away ‘Asimilasyon’, imagine a Depeche Mode 45 vinyl played at 33 speed and you will get an idea for how bad this sounds. Next comes Antipole ‘Deco Blue’, which is basically 80’s electronic drivel, musically not bad but the vocals are hideous. From Ash Code we have ‘Posthuman’ which sounds exactly like the first band.
Shadow Age ‘In Snow’ follows, more Depeche Mode soundalikes but these are not quite as awful as 1 and 3.
Not getting any better, Hante ‘Silence The Voices’ is a repetitive eerie female lead Depeche Mode while Balvanera ‘Compression (The Absent)’ is 80’s trance dance club mix with morbid vocals, if you can refer to that noise as a vocal, in the loosest sense of the word. NOIR ‘A Pleasure to Burn’, is more Pet Shop Boys than Depeche Mode, this is not an improvement. Skeleton Hands ‘Unwanted’ has a better vocalist but is very dated and has an awful drum sound.
While Dancing Plague ‘An Endless Want’ was the worst yet and I just skipped it after less than 20 seconds.
PushButtonPress ‘Hypatia’ was just more of the same dire noise and Night Nail ‘Nowhere’ was tedious although the music would have been ok without the vocals. FTR ‘Black Sand1’ makes me think of the programme Euro Trash, this is the electronic nonsense they would have championed. Canter ‘Black Bag’ can be described as weird music with someone speaking over it and generally unpleasant, however, Decedent vs Slighter ‘Hyper-Aware (Corrupti…’ just made me think the computer was going wrong and I’d got a virus that was distorting the sound. Dark Door ‘Deforme’ was sung in what sounded like German, it reminded me of Depeche Mode meets Rammstein, the siren type noise at the start should be a warning not to keep listening, it is alarmingly bad.
Finally with Seeming ‘The Burial’ we get a song that is at least listenable, the lyrics are poetic and interesting, the synth sound would have been better as a guitar solo but its a vast improvement on what has come before. However, if the hope was that this would mark a change to the album, then sadly it is not, the one and only bearable track out of the 24. The Harrow ‘Ringing The Changes’ is atmospheric, and could be a background track for some film as the vocals don’t come in until nearly the end, and it would be better if the track ended before they began. Dead Leaf Echo ‘You.My.Treasure’ is an awful ambient noise with dreary vocals and dull lyrics, which is joined by Twin Tribes ‘Shadows’ showcasing some 80’s electronic pop that should have been left with Howard Jones and mullets.
Weird Candle ‘Alchemist’ is best described as more awful ambient noise gone wrong, this time with a punky, tuneless female vocal. Moving on to Paradox Obscur ‘Flesh-2’ which is just bizarre and disturbing, then The Shyness of Strangers ‘Serpent River’ takes Depeche Mode and plays it at the wrong speed again, how do you sing that flat and out of key?! IAMTHESHADOW ‘Ashes’ is Depeche Mode at the nightclub on acid, not the nice nightclub either, the seedy one with the sticky carpet. Lastly (thankfully) is Inopera ‘Nepenthe’ who at the last moment snatch the crown for worst track on the album, it is just horrible noise.
In summary, Metropolis have managed to find 24 diverse bands that somehow all sound like each other, they are all bar one devoid of harmony, melody, and charm. Each is as awful as the next, even the one that was ok, could not save this dire compilation. Dark, depressing, dismal and deleted.