Faber Monumentum (2018)
Updated: Jan 11
“Monumentum has this other tiny zest of complexity that at the end can be tame rather easily. I guess that it depends of the ears”
1 Ancient Monument 9:18 2 Sacred Spirit 5:48 3 No other Way 6:06 4 Bataranga 5:05 5 Lost Ship 7:05 6 Mistery Lake 5:24 7 Steps Ahead 4:28 8 Night Dreams 7:45 9 Gate of Ishtar 7:33 10 Sacred Spirit reprise 3:16 MellowJet Records | cdr-fa1801
(CD/DDL 61:48) (V.F.) (New Berlin School, e-rock & synth-pop)
After a little break of 2 years, Faber returns in good shape with an album always so filled of tones and of evolutionary movements which make these charms of an EM that we tame from listening to listening. We have to abandon our ears to the music of Faber, because Ronald Schmidt passed master in the manipulation and the design of sounds while pushing his compositions towards unsuspected avenues. Assisted by Freddy Schlender, very good on guitar, and by Jann Hansen on trombone, Faber proposes with MONUMENTUM around ten titles of an EM refined by various essences. There is for all the tastes, even that sometimes it slides deliciously in the territories of the psychedelic rock of the 60's.
As usual, a dark wave buzzed slightly at the opening of Ancient Monument. Others follow with related and opposite tones, leading the ambiences towards a sort of cinematographic introduction where the synth layers are laying down these apocalyptic flavors of Vangelis. Some sixty seconds farther, a pulsation resounds and sculptures an ambient rhythmic approach rather melodious. These sequences are zigzagging under the hold of these synth tears warnings of disaster. Sound effects, little like chains that one unwinds, militate in favor of a chthonian world while the synth solos are painting a more aerial universe. The rhythm remains ambient up until the arrival of the percussions which redirect the beat towards a soft rock approach. Arpeggios are tinkling from all over. So much that my ears are sweating in order to follow this sound parade which develops quietly with an armada of percussive tones. Freddy Schlender loosens finally his fingers to sculpt some ethereal solos. And suddenly, I feel sliding in an old universe. The one of the muddy and nebulous of the American psychedelic rock with these solos which fly over a soft but lively rhythm. A little like a tribal dance of adoration. Except that Faber resumes things back by freeing bright and harmonious arpeggios which sparkle until one finale where the darkness, and their slow sonic swords, gobble up a title which we want to rehear. This sound journey through out the evolutionary 10 minutes of Ancient Monument depicted very well the rich pallet of tones of Faber's always evolving music world. And as every Ronald Schmidt's album hides a small melodious pearl, Sacred Spirit seduces at the first listening. Anchored on a bass pulsation and good percussive effects, the pulsing beat is tied to a movement of circular sequences to which we graft a harmonious touch. A dense layer of violins catches the beat, switching it around for an astral ballad that a voice caresses of ether while heavy strata of organ are going in the opposite sense. The enveloping orchestrations and the harmonious sequences are weaved in charm and when the huge organ layers show up, we remain nailed on the spot. Furthermore, these ghostly layers and the Enigma choir are the core of the intense vibes of Sacred Spirit (Reprise) which, on the other hand, is less harmonious and less animated.
No other Way follows with a bouncy beat which is knotted by throbbing pulsations and Teutonic percussions. Effects of chains roam again in this rhythmic decor and a line of sequences isolates itself to weave some stroboscopic strands. The percussions are in the tone and shape a kind of cardiac beat. The guitar dominates with good solos of floating rock which fly in a lunar setting. And that flows rather well. There are effects of voices and a tune, in touch with the title, is hummed in the slow drifting of the violins. Bataranga is some solid EDM with the usual Boom-Boom-Tchack-Tchack elements and a structure of melodious sequences. We are in the dance music style of Element 4! Lost Ship is also in the kind of EDM, as much as one admits these structures of rhythm which jump like a Hip-Hop without words or singing nor effects of voice. Layers of synth are covering this bouncy structure, always fed well at the level of the percussions, where get grafted other good guitar solos. I’m a nostalgic and the more I listen to some parts of music here and the more I think of the American West Coast rock music in the time of Iron Butterfly, probably because of the organ, with this hopping rhythm which is slow enough to establish a climate of sensuality. If we like the genre, we are going to taste the ears wide open the catchy rhythm jumping up on airs of mad Jazz which is the festive Steps Ahead. The beat meets the title! Mistery Lake is a sweet ballad sets on the riffs of a Gibson with a small degree of emotionalism weaved by airs of trombone and some rather intense orchestrations here. The synth is dreamy with good harmonious solos. Night Dreams is the other electronic ballad of MONUMENTUM. The synth pierces our wall of insensitivity with a catchy voice which sings like an enchanter specter. The rhythm is slow and swirls with sober percussions, flickering sequences and layers which are fragile of their orchestral envelopes. Gate of Ishtar embraces also cinematic vision with an intense introduction where sparkle these organic tones of a spheroidal movement of the sequencer. The synth draws an ear-catchy melody on a nest of slow orchestrations. The fragments of melody hang onto our emotions as quick as this jumping beat which draws its inspirations from Lost Ship.
Two years after Earthbeats, Faber has lost nothing of his touch at the level of writing and especially how to spread a load of tones and touching orchestrations. Developed well and especially wrapped well in effects of percussions and in lines of sequences which play several roles, MONUMENTUM is at the height of this accessible EM from the MellowJet Records label with just what one needs that to add a tiny zest of complexity that at the end can be tame rather easily, depends of the ears. There is of everything, there is a lot, but never nothing in much!
Sylvain Lupari (April 5th, 2018) *****
Available at MellowJet Records