From start to finish song quality is very high. There are no weak songs on the album and even it’s very long it’s built dramatically variable and it doesn’t get boring. Suddenly you find out you have already listened half of the album though you just pressed play. There are these atmospheric tracks which cools down the atmosphere, so it’s not 70 minutes banging in the face.
Actually those tracks are many times flirting with ambient music which I find very fascinating. Reworking of “Statue” stands out as a brilliant land mark. The previous version is one of the most heart felt lost gems of the ’80:s. It was recorded 30 years before and can be found on “Ancient.” However this brand new version stands proud on its side… “The Crowded Self” is perfect ending for the album. It’s a very bleak one and it’s like a cousin to “Decades” from JOY DIVISION Closer album. “Conception” is furious and thundering old favorite, It shows the power of SIIIII. All in all, old and new tracks fit together very well. There is not much difference between style. I think SIIIII continue where they once stopped.
One thing which also stand out is, every one in the band is very good with their instruments and arrangements are done with a thought. Paul’s voice has deep baritone like Brendan Perry and Nick Cave, but that’s not the only way he uses his voice. There’s lots of variations playing with rhythms and pronunciation. There are also many vocal overdubs on the album which makes his voice sound like very theatric and colorful. The singing is much better than your average goth band for sure! Mark’s guitar playing has similarities with sound and style to early DEAD CAN DANCE, COCTEAU TWINS and THE CHAMELEONS. Bass and drums are the spine to the music where guitars and singing paint the picture. Some of the faster tracks like “Springheel’d Jack” is pretty much THE BIRTHDAY PARTY like. So, there are variations from hysterical to rugged and to ambient. It might sound messy, but it isn’t.
Summa summarum, this is a brilliant album which open a little bit more with every single listen and usually that’s the mark of an album which will be a classic. ►by Antti Lautala