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  • Writer's pictureSylvain Lupari

MAX VAN RICHTER: Resurrection (2002)

This is another solid album that helped build the Arcane legend”

1 Resurrection 9:18

2 The House of Visual Transference 7:05

3 The Abduction Syndrome 10:24

4 Prophecy 7:56

5 Psychokinetic Hymn 7:53

6 The City of Walking Hallucinations 11:00

7 Last Exit 10:23

(DDL 64:01) (V.F.)

(E-Rock, New Berlin School, OST)

Max Van Richter is the mythical member of the legendary Arcane trio. According to the legend of Paul Lawler, he died in 1997 consumed by flames. And like a phoenix playing the piano and the synth, he resurrects from his flames to deliver us RESURRECTION, a CD having the Arcane flame. A mixture between the big flights of the synthesizers and the heavy beats of a melodious hard rock. The orchestral arrangements are legion in this album which resembles at times a soundtrack of a dystopian action movie if not gloomy, considering certain phases of ambiences. On the other hand, Paul Lawler being Arcane and Arcane being a solid replica of Tangerine Dream's style, Max deploys all the arsenal of sequenced rhythms and melodic visions of the Berlin trio in the early 80's.

Resurrection opens Max Von Richter's debut CD with strength, rhythm and melody. Tinkling of metallic percussions wander between the speakers, while philharmonic synth pads float and fall. They die and rise from their echoes. A bass line presses its weight under undulating synth effects. A shadow of an imp follows in a suspended line of arpeggios to flicker as the percussions carve out a heavy and slow rhythm. The title-track takes a dramatic turn with a melody blown by the orchestrations over a very discreet, but present sequencer movement. Keyboards, drums, guitars and bass combine to create a structure that is slower than heavy with an intermission whose sound effects flirt with the Luciferian side of Arcane. Solos float tenderly and as soon as jerky pads straighten the title-track, Resurrection returns to its dynamic opening. Dramatically, the track ends in a sudden explosion. This opening title depicts in all details the orchestrations and the mix of electric and electronic instruments, in addition to the orchestrations, that give such a spectacular dimension to RESURRECTION. In fact, each of the 7 tracks of this album is meticulously worked and arranged according to the rules of art that Paul Lawler has imposed on himself since the beginning of his impressive career. The House of Visual Transference is a slow hypnotic procession on an ambient and pulsating rhythm. A rhythm that gets toned up without breaking the bank where the guitar moans in a gloomy atmosphere that reminds me of some Alice Cooper moments. Yes, yes! The Abduction Syndrome proposes an atmospheric introduction where I hear light perfumes of Live Miles. The track puts a sequencer line where the keys come back with an elastic effect whose imperfect beats remind of Sorcerer, stimulating a rhythmic appetite that unlocks on a stunning sequenced melody that reminds me of Sacco and Vanzetti, as much by its structure as its impact in the box of ideas. A beautiful earworm typical to Paul Lawler's music who composes his EM like a rock composer, intro, couplet, chorus and finale. This amazing melody stretches until the first intriguing breaths of Prophecy. Where organic effects make up an intro filled with effects and sleazy vocals. Two minutes later, a James Bond-like anthem metamorphoses into a rhythmic structure found in Thief or Flashpoint with percussions tapping out a crazy rock beat, supported by a good rhythmic membrane from the sequencer. Between a fluid rock and a spasmodic electronic rhythm, Paul Lawler gives life to a guitar that is as discreet as Edgar Froese knew so much how to do it.

With Psychokinetic Hymn, I believe we enter one of the beautiful segments of RESURRECTION. It's a beautiful electronic ballad based on a series of sequenced chords that rise and fall creating a hypnotic melody. The rhythm takes a little more weight with the arrival of the electronic percussions and this spasmodic line which was grafted without one noticing it. The title arrives at its point of transition around the 3rd minute. The shadow of the melody still in the ear, it comes back not even 20 seconds later. The butterfly that it became is richer musically speaking with points of emotivities screwed in by dust of chords. Our ears are then surprised by the dramatic tangent that surrounds the last minutes of Psychokinetic Hymn. The percussions fall there curtly, as well as the orchestrations which release a chthonian choir that we never felt coming. The City of Walking Hallucinations starts smoothly. Pulsating sequences leap over the sails of a synth that leans towards the orchestral side. Based on a kind of bolero with a slowly growing cadence and more and more present synth layers, the track explodes with guitar riffs and a sequencer that intertwines two rhythm lines. The structure is total to accompany these laments of an electric guitar that made me raise my arm hairs so high and strong, that I even felt a little pain. Sure, the piano just adds a few moments of mental idleness, but the guitar screams in the background looking for those percussions to roll so that make it so powerful of emotionality. A great track that never ends, except that here the game is worth the candle! One does not know on which foot to dance with Last Exit. If the sequencer sculpts a bouncy rhythm, the flute and the guitar have a jazz dress. The synth pads have that orchestral essence, even the violins make it look a bit more like they are behind the scenes. And suddenly the music gets heavy with dense orchestral layers over good percussions and less accentuated guitar wails here. This rhythmic uproar barely crosses the 5th minute when the mellotron takes care of bringing RESURRECTION back to its only ambient phase, concluding another solid album that helped build the Arcane legend.

Sylvain Lupari (July 10th, 2007) ****¼*

Available at Paul Lawler Bandcamp

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