Tuesday, August 11, 2020
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Artist: Violet (@)
Title: Modern Life
Format: CDS (CD Single)
Label: Equinoxe (@)
Distributor: Masterpiece
Rated: *****
If you're not totally unaware of the German Gothic-folk and Medieval scene, it's possible you already heard something about Violet '“ or maybe you were lucky enough and see them perform on the same stage with renowned acts such as Corvus Corax, Faun, Saltatio Mortis or Persephone... - as well as their side project Violetta, one of the most intriguing medieval music project from the German fertile ground, which gained a considerable acclaim among people addicted to that enchanted imagination crowded with princesses, knights and sometimes dragons, witches and necromancers and perceives as still anchored to forgotten habits and values clashing with modern times! If you already follow this band, you probably know that just one year ago they composed a sort of soundtrack for The Book Of Eden, the best selling book of the fantasy German novelist Kai Meyer... Well, that book begun as a sort of spiritual journey of a group of heroes starting from the Parisian Tour Eiffel - a steel giant which could be considered as one of the most emblematic symbol of the modernity '“ and going towards orient. It seems that for Modern Life, the same heroes come back to the modernity to fight against the false gods and believing of Modern Life. Such an interpretation could be easily verified since the beginning of the record: while Exult is a sort of ironic statement dealing with the misunderstanding of the concept of self-fulfillment '“ often confused with ephemeral material wellness... - with an apex reached in the final strophe ("they say it's healthy to be just a little selfish/to be a liar and a bitch sometimes/they say it's fine to be a little egocentric/just in case it suits you well"), Modern Life is the introduction to the other side of the so-called modernity, speaking about the sense of denying and annihilation of personal identity and the need to emerge of people laying like numbered balls in a ballot box hidden into an anonymous crowd. The first part of this record winking at rock-orientated dynamics end up with Home, which seems to be the page of an intimate diary inviting the listener to find home inside itself while walking on the endless path of life. There's a touching cover of Wreath Of Barbs '“ famous and lovely piece by the legendary Bavarian dj Rudy Ratzinger (just to dispel any doubt, he's not related to the Pope... as a body of evidence we could cite of the highest point of the insensively spiritual lyrics of this song sentencing "the injection religion/has a comalike effect/and bodies lay in decay/dreaming of a greener day"!)- with a goth-folk flow and a distinguishable oriental fragrance. You'll probably stand on ceremony after having a listen to a musical version of the Ode to Francisco Salinas, originally written by Fray Luis de Leon for this revolutionary musical theorist and organist, blind from birth (sometimes it's not a limit... ), who starting from the theories by the Franciscan monk Gioseffo Zarlino about music in High Renaissance (the "ars perfecta" in its own words!) elaborated some interesting theories frequently applied in modern music about harmony and rhythm, intuitions which according to the literary tenor of this ode are compared to the vision of high spheres ("alta esfera"), even if his scores have been lost and no one knows anything about his compositions for organ; the combo has chosen an elegant texture of dubby rhythms mixed to latin and celtic sounds with an oriental touch, a pot-pourri highlighting the intent of this exquisite combo to go over the stylistic boundaries. Oda a Francisco Salinas is not the only song entirely sung in Spanish, being the other one a foggy habanera interpretation of the famous caricature-like poem Poderoso Caballero by Francisco de Quevedo (words such as "poderoso caballero es don dinero" '“ "brave knight is mister money... !- reminded to us the El Pais reportage on Italian prime minister, the cavalier Berlusconi... .!!!), a poet, politician and nobleman who was endured by political persecutions for its frequent attacks on avidity and vices of the Spanish political establishment. The nice male/female vocal duet in White and the easy chords of the ballad Read My Lips are the more poppy acts of the whole album, while the formula mixing Celtic suggestions and athe brightening pop-rock melodic ballad in The Web could be perfect if Equinoxe will decide to issue a single from this album. Cembalo, guitar and bagpipe together with the mournful sing of Bianca Stücker in the melancholic vibes of I Wonder Why and the ritual appeal of Come Closer To The Fire close an album persuading us of the musical skills of this six musicians combo and even if they prefer to call their style "Medieval Crossover", they demonstrate their ability in drifting different style in their boiling pot. Hope to see them perform somewhere during the forthcoming summer as their live-shows are often enhanced by entrancing oriental dance elements and theatrical ones.

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