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  • Writer's pictureSylvain Lupari

ROMERIUM & THANECO: Dark Force (2022)

Each track explores its metamorphic phases with great percussions and bass lines

1 Mystery of Dark Matter 8:33

2 Dramatic Discoveries 7:08

3 The Stuff We Don't Understand 5:49

4 Invisible Particle 6:30

5 Collisions of Dark Photons 10:37

6 Unknown Particles 6:47

7 Fundamental Power 8:05

8 Dark Force of Nature 10:37

(DDL 64:08) (V.F.)

(Progressive Cosmic Berlin School)

If you get this impression that Mystery of Dark Matter starts out like Jean-Michel Jarre's Calypso, Pt. 2, in the Waiting for Cousteau album, you won't be alone. The circular and reverberating rays of the synth host distorted vocal effects rather than percussive jerks. These vocal textures take some getting used to, as they are found throughout this new album-download from the duo who is on its third musical adventure. Here they turn into a plethora of percussive noises bouncing in suspension and where a line of 4 chords is docked and of which the harmonic effect remains in suspension. The rhythmic structure turns into an ascending slope whose drop points change its genetics to momentarily scattering into fluttering sequences before returning to its Berlin School ambient structure. Nebulous synth effects are added midway through as this rhythm always seeks to dissolve and remake itself in increasingly dramatic synth layers. DARK FORCE is the 3rd collaboration between Romerium and Thaneco. Like with Exploring the Trappist-1, the duo is inspired by the spectacular advance of man in Cosmos. To do so, the two friends propose a panoply of rhythms ranging from Berlin School to stationary rhythms, without forgetting the bite they have for energetic rock, as well as electronic progressive rock approaches.

Dramatic Discoveries goes straight to the point with a good rhythm structure adorned of a catchy melody. Narrative, the music takes us back to the 70's with a possibility of an FM hit. For a track that's under 6 minutes on the clock, The Stuff We Don't Understand is a good evolving electronic rock. The rhythm is hammered by good driving percussions and especially by a good effective bass line. The keyboard multiplies jerky riffs while the sequencer sculpts a circular movement and at times strobe lines to maintain this rhythm throughout. Vocals and synth effects make up its main set, which is enriched by solos and a more harmonious vision as The Stuff We Don't Understand moves into a more dance-like phase. In a cosmic setting shrouded of absent voices, Invisible Particle offers a ghostly rhythmic structure with multiple oscillating loops that flicker in a motion as static as the surrounding synth layers. An oscillating sequence and percussions shake up the slow introduction of Collisions of Dark Photons to give it a more progressive rock structure with excellent drumming that hammers out a driving cadence in a cosmic texture.

After the very atmospheric Unknown Particles, Fundamental Power stretches out a droning layer that hosts some percussive elements and a heavy, clumsily bouncing bassline sequence. Quite brilliantly, the rhythmic structure swings its jumping balls into a sidereal context with its stealthy approach where the staccato movement of an orchestral texture hangs in the air. With the rhythm well anchored, Fundamental Power remains decorated with the percussive elements of its introduction, in addition to receiving some aggressions from a synth more focused on effects and screams than the melodic approach. The music reaches its transition point around the 4th minute. Stray sequences and jerky orchestrations bicker as the rhythm slowly picks up in a cosmic rock and funk fusion. With keyboard chords wandering in a dreamy haze, the title-track concludes this beautiful album by the duo Thaneco & Romerium with a melancholic opening. With the help of percussions of which the metal felt resonates in the room, the rhythm which is grafting slowly evolves under the tender caresses of a mellotron flute. Jumping with more spirit, Dark Force of Nature undertakes a phase of synth-pop on a mid-tempo interspersed by atmospheric phases in order to conclude DARK FORCE OF THE NATURE in a more aerial phase where the dark side of the Cosmos is not as far as one thinks.

Thanos Oikonomopoulos and Rene Montfoort stay in their comfort zone with a very good album that presents a lively EM with its array of inviting rhythms. Each track explores its metamorphic phases with good percussions and an excellent bass line in a setting well adapted to the reality of this album that should please aficionados of the Berlin School style with a progressive vision.

Sylvain Lupari (February 10th, 2022) ****¼*

Available at Thaneco Bandcamp

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