The unwavering inspiration and output from our beloved French musician Erang strides onwards! After King Of Nothing reunited us with the land of five seasons, Songs Of Scars returns to the mysterious Sci-Fi dystopian realm of Anti-Future. Its presentation, a striking front, sets the tone. The eerie gaunt corpse painted skull featured in much of Erang's artwork stares us face on. The bold red font illicits the danger that lurks, the subtitles set the stage for a soundtrack of freight.
Where Anti-Future stepped into new territory, Songs Of Scars owns it. These deliberate compositions set the perfect tone for your John Carpenter 80s flick. The breeze of suspense, a soft paranoia, the looming of evil and smog of future tech all from the comfort of your sofa. Its a true soundtrack, one that needs no cinema in front of it convey the atmosphere it will soak you in. Each song a master stroke of tone to illuminate the never ending nightfall in which our adventures will play out.
Aesthetics is king and with a touch of minimalism and measure of balance our synthetic instruments, buzz saws, sine waves, bells and strings, swoon in their glossy packaging. With just a few key sounds resonating on one another, the bold, rich textures and gorgeous reverberations dazzle and delight as the songs play simplistic and singular melodies. Chiming notes cast the spell as they play off one another. From gleaming bells of fortune to deep swirling, sweeping synths of despair every song finds its own degree of the chemistry so swiftly established as the record begins to spin, bar the first track.
Despite sections of repetition on reasonable lengths of song, the craft carries the music forward, along with the slow, steady, often bare yet effective snare kick drive. Instead of opting in to key shifts or tempo changes Erang find the opportune moments deliver magic in the form musical unwinding of sensual events with swirly synths dancing without a melody to conjure a vision. This never feels overplayed, in fact the balance across the record feels stunning as these imaginative atmospheres conspicuously lure us through there transitions. From front to back It feels like every opportune moment has been realized yet fed to the listener unknowingly.
Where Anti-Future left me with a lack of event, or teetering for something more, Songs Of Scars fully satisfies. The subtle unfolding of songs in their minimalist exterior fleshes out a journey the atmosphere inspires. There are some favorites that come to mind, on occasions where the drums muster up more energy and the instruments find a colorful melody the tone borders on a form of dark Synthpop. "Street Klowns" takes the cake for its mischievous, quirky sounds, grooving, playful and fitting the mold! It makes a break to the traditional Erang Dungeon Synth sound, linking the ages together. "Metal Magic Madness" also opens this rift between worlds again.
With all this magic at work, I strangely enough find the opening and closing tracks, "1984" and "2084" to be rather underwhelming in comparison to everything else. The intro a bit to energetic and overly synthetic, it doesn't quite address whats to come, equally the outro doesn't unwind as much as I think its sweeping synths intend to. At fifty one minutes the record certainly entertains for its duration and may just be Erang's finest release yet and definitely the best of "The Last Age" records.
Favorite Tracks: Sequenced Suicide, Street Klowns, Home Schooling, Ruins Of The Lost Underground Kingdom