Sunday, October 2, 2016

"Figures and Faces" review by Halotan Records

Original review page here:

My first encounter with Jacek Wolanski’s music was rather memorable. There were few dark elekctro projects in Poland, so I welcomed Unsinn’s debut with joy and curiosity. I was a little bit upset, when I didn’t got what I expected – a simple dance aggrotech album, however I soon discovered the potential of this record, which consisted in its somber and thick atmosphere. Since then many years has passed, and Jacek’s as a very productive artist delivered many albums, first with Traumatize and then with Cold Therapy.

If the first project was a little hit and miss for me, Cold Therapy on its second effort “Masquarade Infinite” impressed me with mature sound, skillful songwriting and rather “goth” than “cyber” approach. One year after this release we got third effort from Cold Therapy – “Figures and faces”, published by Advoxya Records.

If I would compare this album to some more famous project it would be early Suicide Commando and :wumpscut: merged Kirlian Camera and In Slaughter Natives, or even such classic figures of industrial sound as Einstürzende Neubauten. Well, it is definitely dark electro, but in a sense of the very beginnings of this genre in the early 90s where the task of bringing the people on a dancefloor wasn’t very important.

It’s definitely somber and depressed atmosphere what matters here. Just give a listen to the first song on the album – “The pretender”. If you thing this very slow BPM song serves only as an atmospheric intro for the album, you’re wrong. In fact, this thick and static structure of noises, melancholic melodies and guttural murmurs of Jacek sets the tune for the whole album. It’s really very consistent entity, so there will be no track-by-track in this review, as really wouldn’t make any sense.

At first I was a little bit upset, because I wasn’t prepared for that. Previous album, “The masquerade infinite”, which review you can find here was also an anti-dancefloor manifesto, however it still follow kick-snare-kick-snare rhythmic pattern, and tracks like “Puppeter” were somehow catchy. Well, forget about that this time. On “Figures and faces” gloomy landscapes are crawling slowly through you ears, and since the album didn’t change its tune this tension isn’t released which makes the listening experience rather difficult task.

It isn’t bad at all – do you imagine to listen Kirlian Camera’s “Todesengel” while you ride to work in the morning, or MZ. 412 “Domine Rex Inferum” as a cool soundtrack for reading an interesting book? Me neither. And that’s the case of “Figures and faces” – this work needs your attention, and if you give it all of the positive energy will be soon sucked out of you. However there’s also a variety in this consistent opus. A variety of neoclassical synth lines, industrial noises, beats and sounds which were thrown into this musical mixture was immense, and I only regret that all them (or maybe majority) are virtual samples, since even some recordings of real sounds would work here perfectly.

Anyway, if someone would insist to choose one or two tracks which are perfect to start with it’s definitely “The portrait of grotesque” – its repetitive, hypnotic chorus will easily infect your spirit with depressive stupor. Also the title track and instrumental Angesicht der Angst are worth checking out if you prefer to try some single tracks before plunge into the enterity of the album. However the latter solution is highly reccomendend, this album should be listened carefully from the start till the end. A strong and ambitious effort that stands out as a very original attempt to rediscover the essence of dark electronic sound.

Review by: Adalbert (Halotan Records)