|September Mourning - 'Melancholia' (Repo Records)|
|Written by Gaz E|
|Monday, 04 June 2012 05:00|
There was one, simple reason why 'Melancholia', the new album from September Mourning, stayed on my shelf rather than be moved on to one of the wanton Uber Rock writers for review......and, for once, it wasn't because there was an attractive female on its cover (I'm at that funny age).
No, the reason why I held onto this album in order to investigate further was because of a certain gentleman's name attached to the project - Marc Silvestri.
Now, before you rush towards your rock 'n' roll encyclopaedias to find out just who it is I am talking about I have to inform you that Silvestri isn't connected to the rock world at all. Curious? I certainly was.
Marc Silvestri is a comic-book artist famed for his work at Marvel, who was one of the seven artists who broke free of the shackles and formed Image Comics (home of Spawn, Savage Dragon and The Walking Dead among others) a couple of decades ago. Yes, I'm a nerd but, as Stacy Jones told me several years ago, the geeks get the girl. Silvestri is now the CEO of Top Cow Productions. So how does this famous artist fit into the world of September Mourning?
Utilising a series of multi-media platforms, September Mourning have fashioned, well, a brand I guess, created by Silvestri and the band's frontwoman M Lazar. September Mourning announced a partnership with MTV at this year's San Diego Comic Con and plan on developing a cross-platform, trans-media property based on a living person, "a reverse engineered Lara Croft for the rock and roll set," as they put it.
Those three letters, M and T and V, started to peel a little of the gloss off my eagerness to check out the album, such is the company's apparent quest to kill music and make the proles forget what the first letter of their name actually stands for. Then I tentatively placed the album into my stereo.....
Opener 'Go For The Throat' went, as it no doubt hoped, straight for my jugular and, honestly, surprised me. Sure, it's all a little too modern metal for my palate, all screaming then clean vocals, but its polished, well-crafted qualities shone through, trying to burn my doubts like vampire hide. Second song 'A Place To Call Your Own' proves that the opener was no fluke; in fact, it's probably better - a smearing of melody sticking to a savage riff.
'Always' treads the goth-pop-rock path that I guessed the entire album would follow: it fits the concept - "a dark culture fantasy told through the heart and split soul of a girl named September" - perfectly and it's hard not to get stuck in its honey trap of catchiness. 'Fallen' opens in a way that just wants you to start typing the word 'Evanescence' before kicking the keys out of your hand; actually, the song sounds like a good version of Lacuna Coil. 'Love Is War (Romanticide)' is massive, sounding like a song that those Black Veil Brides would kill to be in possession of....seeing as they have none of their own. The electro drop-out in the song's mid-section is almost Defiled in nature.
'Lost Angels' stands out a mile. Not because of its quality, but because it has so obviously been written for the band by someone else. A quick scurry towards the CD booklet tells me that the song was written by Cole Gardner, a gentleman who, as well as playing with the likes of ABC and A-Ha, has written songs for the likes of Madonna, Tiffany and...err...Bros. It might stick out like a sore thumb, but the song presses so many buttons that you'd imagine that thumb hitch-hiking the tune to Hitsville: an '80s sounding, hook-laden bowl of sugary success.
The album comes off the cash cow chicane and back on track with 'Crimson Skies' and 'Seal Your Fate', the latter being particularly memorable. 'Beyond The Grave' digs up a massive riff and, with skewed programming buzzing around its back door, dissolves into every pore of contemporary metal. 'Last Embrace', the album closer, is a more subtle affair, its "I'm still standing here" refrain a reminder to anyone, myself included, judging this album at a basic level, that it may be a pointless task.
With the might of MTV and a visionary artist behind them, could September Mourning possibly fail? Will it just get written off as a tax break if it does? On a moralistic level this project and concept is questionable; creating something to tap into fashion, rather than passion, is just work. And we all work just for the pay check, right? But as an album, and taken solely from that perspective, 'Melancholia' kicks quite a hefty chunk of ass.
To pick up your copy of 'Melancholia' - CLICK HERE