ROMERIUM: Contemplations (2021)
“But we can't say anything bad because it's indeed well done”
1 Mortal Things 7:01
2 Oblique Path 5:50
3 Rich Golden Head 5:46
4 The spacious sea-green field 5:46
5 The Dream and the Reality 9:48
6 Autumnal Tide 7:34
7 A Horse with no Wings 5:01
8 Universe's Eye 9:51
(DDL 56:41) (V.F.)
(OST, Ambient, E-Pop-Rock)
We can't say anything bad because it's well done! And yet, the parenthesis following the title is quite clear (symphonic / pop / ambient). And then, there is this strange black poem on the Bandcamp page of Romerium, suggesting dark and gloomy minutes of music. It's not the case! Available in DDL only, CONTEMPLATIONS offers a series of tracks, mostly minimalist, where we hear the Belgian synthesist experimenting various melodic variations that get discover very well. An album for the general public, closer to the New Age with rhythmic melodies that enchant us instantly.
And immediately Mortal Things proposes a melodious vision with a suite of semi-luminous arpeggios. An acoustic guitar collects this melancholic march with an energy as vital as the undulating synth layer that covers this first minute of the track. Percussions and tap dances adjust their drive with the ever lively acoustic six-string while further on, the bass completes the minimalist cycle of Mortal Things. The dance is of the Middle East kind with this union between percussions and guitar, while the keyboard and the synth in turn add their visions of electronic harmonies. A short synth opening, and Oblique Path unfolds its rhythmic and harmonic bed with an electronic ritornello sequenced by marbles that roll and roll on themselves. The keyboard and the synth share this fluid rhythmic framework to lay down different harmonies and ambiances. Rich Golden Head is an intense cinematic track, as if poignant with regular ticking sculpting a hurried march for a harpsichord and an astral choir to lay down a prismatic atmosphere. The spacious sea-green field offers an acoustic ballad that lies between Oblique Path and Mortal Things. The music is melancholic with low chords that turn away from their minimalist axis to borrow the more rock and energetic one of the percussions. The flute, like the synth, scatters mortuary tunes with a tasty wink of a piano and its Adams Family's tune. As tasty as unexpected!
The backbone of The Dream and the Reality is like a free project for all nations. In the sense that the music and its rock ballad rhythm has the ability to remind you of a popular song from home. Its few minutes of rhythmic refrain serve the cause of Rene Montfoort's abilities to disperse his tunes on synth, guitar and more. Intense and efficient, Autumnal Tide is a good monument of ambient and meditative music with hazy wind banks that makes us travel with ideas full of head and visions full of eyes. If you like ambient landscapes with their abandoned cowboys airs, Universe's Eye ends this opus in beauty, but before there is A Horse with no Wings which is a big rock ballad guided by big percussions that shake the tenderness of a piano and its cheerful notes. The synth breaks the acoustic spell with some good solos that have the form of a slickness in stretching out more than blasting. A bit like The spacious sea-green field, it's as tasty as unexpected!
Definitely, we can't say anything bad because it's well done! There are beautiful music on this Romerium's CONTEMPLATIONS. There are some good ambient moments as there are space-rock, more acoustic than electronic, and melodies to wet our eyes. In short, there is everything for all those who don't like Berlin School or progressive ME and even less EDM or IDM. But we can't say anything bad because it's indeed well done!
Sylvain Lupari (June 21st, 2021) *****
Available at Romerium Bandcamp