ALIEN NATURE: Who Goes There? (2012)
“Who Goes There? is an extremely powerful album where all the musical colors of the digital equipments are exploited to the maximum”
1 Mind Bridge 15:52 2 Pattern of Chaos 11:10 3 Tomorrows Children 10:23 4 The Radiant Dome 18:08 5 Galactic Corridors 12:11 6 Torrent of Faces 9:10 SynGate | CD-R AN06
(CD-R 77:05) (V.F.) (Sequencer-based Berlin School)
For this 6th album, Alien Nature embodies themes of space wars in a breathtaking musical canvas. Inspired by 6 science-fiction novels and/or short stories, WHO GOES THERE? kicks down our eardrums and makes weeping our walls with fiery rhythms that hammer out musical scenarios of intergalactic duels. Robots, aliens and cybernetic creatures adorn the atmospheres of a cosmos soaked in atmospheres of iodine where Wolfgang Barkowski delivers a furious fight to serenity and its morphic traps.
It's in some panting that release a feeling of fright or of ecstasy that the first lines of synth float above Mind Bridge. Ambiospherical and musical, in spite of the whispers of paranoia, this intro gives off a soft perfume of abandon with these synth lines of which the languishing charms are increased with the fine pulsations of a suggestive bass line. The jingles of cymbals, which fight over this field of desire, light the percussions which strike a soft tempo and its look of cosmic groove. The rhythm is finely jerky, even a little jazzy, with very good percussions. It hiccups with serenity under the chants of good synth solos, bringing Mind Bridge towards a period of transition where are ringing chords with breaths and tones of contracted glass. Other gurgling tones embellish a dialogue of robots in a seraphic atmosphere. We clearly feel a more dramatic tendency which takes shape throughout the progression of Mind Bridge which ends in an anarchic finale with the big stormy and nasal waves of a threatening synth. A subtle chaos lies behind the winds of acid rain whistling on the back of sonic waves. Escaping from these devastating atmospheres, Pattern of Chaos, which reflects the spirit of a space battle, ignites our interest with a succession of sequences that sneak behind the shrapnel of cosmic shells and thumps to sway in tandem with pulsations and organic riffs. The rhythm then becomes violent. Like an intense ride in the meanders of the cosmos, it runs briskly with powerful percussion and quaking sequences, whose tremolos draw riffs of guitars, thus combining a velocity that constantly feeds the strength and aggressiveness of the vivid solos of a synth that is the bugle of the cavalry. After this violence of rhythms, Tomorrows Children lands in our ears gently. At least for its first part, which is a delicious down-tempo lusciously spinning between soporific synth lines and pulsations with heavy organic gurgles. The synth pitches suave solos that float in an atmosphere of abandonment while quietly the rhythm eat up the ambiances with a latent progression to finally take the shape of a structure as nervous, but more poetic, than Mind Bridge.
The longest track on WHO GOES THERE?, The Radiant Dome, is also the one that has the most difficulty to take off. But when it does, hold your hat! Its intro is slow and kissed by a cosmic storm filled with hollow breaths and of acid cracklings which are the witnesses of an odd symphony of organic jingles. It's a soporific cocktail which little by little gets fill of heavy drones with doubtful twists in order to make the link between the abstract and the heavy rhythm of lead which castigates the ashes of this intro. And the rhythm is heavy. Appropriating all the tones and sequences that can undulate with fury, it's heavily beat up by percussions of which the unbridled strikings are raging in an organic fauna and its pulsations which vomit refrains shared with the hypnotic loops of synth solos. And this rhythm stops abruptly after a crazy race of four minutes to kiss a more ambiospherical phase. The cawing of the organic pulsations which upholster the hymns and moods of WHO GOES THERE? are shaping a strange funky beat approach where the synths are lovely. They draw some nasal solos and morphic atmospheres accompanied with an acoustic guitar of which the harmonies and riffs roam in this magma of antibiotics for depressive aliens, while that insidiously the feverish rhythm which had abandoned us resurfaces, gnawing a finale which is dying in a concert of white noises. This cosmic tranquility goes up to the intro of Galactic Corridors and of its soft musical winds which spread their serenities on a soft organic rhythm. One would believe to hear the orchestral vessels of Tomita on this intro of which the charms of synth solos hide these soft hits of manual percussions which feed more and more the soft tribal-cosmic rhythm of Galactic Corridors whose ending is embracing a period of transition with some languorous plaintive solos before stumbling over a more nervous rhythm. Then a beat a bit funky pops out and the jerky outlines are drawing a stroboscopic sound arc, confining it on a rhythm trapped in its circular axis. There where throne the mist of Venus and the nasal airs of a synth and of its exhilarating fragrance of organ sound. Torrent of Faces takes back the rhythmic ride of The Radiant Dome. Except that this time, the running gnaws the whole 9 minutes. It's a powerful track which makes us tap our feet and shake our head with madness and where synth solos swirl ceaselessly on this structure about which we don't know if it's the tremulous riffs and sequences or the unchained percussions which boost a tempo of a marathon runner who runs at high speed and which, in the end, runs after a breath lost in a rhythmic mess that only a well calibrated EM can forge.
Phew! I had to apologize to my neighbors! WHO GOES THERE? doesn't do in for subtleties. It's an extremely powerful album where all the musical colors of the digital instruments are exploited in a firework of explosive rhythms which crush the atmospheres and the melodic approaches that are finely detailed. It's an album of progressive EM that has nothing to envy to the avant-gardism works of King Crimson, or still Van Der Graaf Generator, so much it's hyper heavy and highly unbridled. It's EM at its best and which has to be listened the ears as big as our open-mindedness. Powerful, lively and heavy! For those about to e-rock...
Sylvain Lupari (March 23rd, 2013) *****
Available at SynGate Bandcamp