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  • Writer's pictureSylvain Lupari

OTARION: Under Surface (2018)

Updated: Nov 25, 2020

“Under Surface is another great blend of e-rock, EDM and classical New Berlin School always filled by the touching romanticism of Faber”

1 Prelude 3:47 2 Behind the Doors 7:01 3 The Abandoned Place 2:19 4 Under Surface 10:59 5 Refractions 6:13 6 A Different View 9:33 7 The Best Time 7:12 8 A Glance Up 6:19 9 Go Out 8:54 10 Arrived 8:12 MellowJet Records | cdr-ot1801 (CD/DDL 70:33) (V.F.) (Electronic, Symphonic Rock)

It feels good to renew with the music of Otarion! Rainer Klein is second to none to bring the listener through a musical epic where the emotions run hypersensitive on structures in movement. Sometimes shaken by shocks of EDM, jostled by a solid electronic rock dipped into the New Berlin School style or yet by great symphonic rock, UNDER SURFACE sneaks between various phases of an always touching and overwhelming EM guided by strong orchestrations. At this level, aromas of the superb Genius combined to the rock vision of Decide are floating all around this last album of Otarion. What is far from being bad! A very sober piano covers of its nostalgia a cloud of white noises which unties Prelude of the first silences of UNDER SURFACE. And as our senses ask to be more touched by Rainer Klein's tenderness, a cello and a voice add to this suspense of melancholic moods which find its outcome of musical tragedy with dense orchestrations of one finale in search of its genesis. Noises of jingles and hinges of doors, we enter in the core of the atmospheres of this album by Behind the Doors. Its introduction is signed of mysticism and romanticism with effects, layers of synth and a celestial voice. A guitar and its drawling riffs give a look of rock slow and heavy to an ambient music which bursts into a good symphonic rock filled with ambiospherical twigs where the drum, and effects of electronic percussions, straighten a more electronic dimension accentuated by good synth solos. The Abandoned Place is like a little cloud of sounds and ambient elements which ties two poles. Its junction between Behind the Doors and the title-track, which throws itself between our ears with big carillons and whispers of terns, is nicely just in time and in tones. Under Surface is a track that does very electronic rock of Tangerine Dream's Sonic Poem Series or yet the Quantum Years. The structure of rhythm is fed with a meshing of these thousands of small felted steps which run in circle and a bass line a little bit round, kind of Groove. Music becomes more rock energetic after the point of the 4 minutes with a lively drum and by riffs of which the charms bite the dust behind a delicious veil of sonic shenanigans and reverberating effects. The decor is rich of its sibylline atmospheres which roam behind good guitar solos. The last riff of a dying solo and the overexcited vibes are fading in a second very ethereal half of Under Surface with a quite touching Otarion on the piano. Refractions lands between my ears in a dress of a superb down-tempo marinated in psybient moods. It's the title as unexpected that very surprising which peels my emotions minute by minute with a little more rock reorientation and a striking velocity knotted around these series of riffs in loop which belong to the repertoire of U2 or still Coldplay. These riffs also spice up the various evolutionary steps of A Different View, and other rock moments in this album, which is a good rock with its phases of ambient romanticism. It's a skillful mixture between rock and EM with strands of stroboscopic sequences that crumble their jerks in the lively and striking strikes from the drum. Casted in the same mold of EM evolving by slices, The Best Time proposes an introduction in halftone with lost chords and jingles which run away through a veil of sibylline atmospheres. A series of pulsations united this opening with an approach which tilts to another rock well hammered by percussions with strikes always so clear and precise, bringing The Best Time towards a theatrical rock of the Picture Palace Music kind. Slow, sensual and ethereal, A Glance Up is a beautiful lunar slow dance. The drum hammers a muted and heavy rhythm while the arpeggios swirl as in a bed song of the Halloween theme. The title fattens its passion and its heaviness, while giving a small boost for a short period of rock before returning in a more lunar phase. Go Out takes back the road of rock beats such as A Different View and the title-track. The rhythm is nervous and squats in a semi-ambient and semi-animated structure before forcing a phase of big rock at the very end. Arrived ends this tangible suite to the album Decide with a good vaporous intro where the theatrical side of Otarion breathes of its perfumes of mysticism. Voices lost in the wind, somber piano and dramatic effects decorate this introduction sewn in Mephistophelian silk while gradually the rhythmic ride settles down. Last riffs and last solos of guitar, Arrived rushes towards a more electronic finale before leaving a last breath which is going to start again another debate … Is it the best of Otarion? I would say the best since Genius! Sylvain Lupari (April 10th, 2018) *****

Available at MellowJet Records

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