Music Reviews

Artist: AMATEUR GOD (@)
Title: Xenofeelia
Format: CD
Label: Black Rain (@)
Distributor: Nova MD
Rated: *****
AMATEUR GOD is a duo from Slovenia, formed by Bla Erzetič and Helena Gabrijelčič, and "Xenofeelia, or «Tales of How We Wanted to Fight Our Own Nature in Vain»" is the third album of the band (but until 2004 there was another singer), the second on German label Black Rain. The album is characterised by slow songs, with Helena’s voice laying on a bed of electronic beats and pads, creating a gloomy atmosphere, oppressive and disturbing. Sad emotions pervade your body, as listening to this album is like walking in a dead alley, fearful of the unknown. Voice is sometimes a bit monotone and dissonant, but I think this is just as they wanted it to be, to create this desperate sensation of emptiness; in fact, when she wants, Helena shows she’s able to sing melodically with no problem at all (see "Miss Fortune" for example), even though never aggressively but with a melancholic approach. I do like songs like "Changes", which has also a particular video, or "Garden of Sanity" with its deep and distressing noises, while I didn’t understand why a song with French lyrics has an English title ("Last Winter"). Maybe this album could give its best with few more variations, both in music and vocals, daring to strengthen some noises or beats when needed to emphasize some passages or to better take advantage of vocal extension. Told this, I must admit that if you accept "Xenofeelia" for the reflective atmosphere it creates, it could be a good album for grey evenings when you need to look into your soul. A trip to the sad side of life.

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