Lurching and scraping its way out of the smoking ruins of a dystopian city Metropolis, we happen upon what can only be regarded, in my opinion as one of the better Darksynth offerings of a Decade.
‘City of Eternal Rain’ by Manchester’s own ‘DEADLIFE’.
‘DEADLIFE’ aka Ed Hawx emerged to start producing Electronic music in 2012. Having originally drummed in various bands he found inspiration in scores by Vangelis and Video Games such as Metal Gear solid among others and proceeded to carve his inimitable sound from there.
As DEADLIFE he has been prolific since 2017 in giving us no less than 7 hugely popular creations and shows no signs of diminished lust in his quest to keep providing us the soundtrack to his post-apocalyptic realism. I must admit I’m incredibly drawn to Dark-synth, its story, the whole Cyberpunk elements. The aesthetic is very appealing and I could not wait to sink my teeth into this one.
The album opens much like the curtains to a long-awaited film on a big screen, the lights go down and you’re instantly transported through sonic scapes. The shear talent it takes to evoke imagery from sound is not lost when you listen to the opening track ‘Into the breach’. Images of driving rain pummeling the neon city streets as drones search for signs of life. I may have a vivid imagination but nevertheless it takes me there…
…and you can’t help but feel present when the next track bursts into your eardrums and grabs you by the throat. ‘Generation Damage’ is layered with textures & tones so much so that this track doesn’t ask for your attention it demands it and you have no choice. It’s a ‘get in if you want to live’ sort of vibe and by this point I had been making a mental note to make this my favourite track of the album & I’m only two tracks in!
Track 3 is ‘We are one & the same’ and shows DEADLIFE’s mighty musical chops off to the best of his apocalyptic abilities. It bends, cracks, fizzles & blends. Taking a more melodic march around your eardrums. It’s a nice filler having listening to what preceded it.
‘To unify with clear sight’ is up next and by this point you left in no doubt that DEADLIFE is one very clever composer. If this tune was a mood, I’d describe it as ‘content’ to a point. It bubbles away melodically and I caught myself (for shame) doing a little shoulder shimmy, I think at this point I’d have to hand in my darksynth badge but closer to the end of that track the shadows descend & the mood changes to almost a feeling of dread, phew!
The rest of the album is just so compelling. Every tune has a distinct narrative but cleverly they feel bound together like chapters in a story never told.
I’d wager for those who know DEADLIFE from previous works or those who are new to his incredible body of work will hold this effort in huge high esteem. By the end of this album you feel like you’ve had an experience, a virtual tour of an unknown world and one I’ll re-visit again and again no doubt.
Favourite Track: (Tied) Generation Damage & Strands Unravel
Least Favourite: None
Support & Learn more about DEADLIFE via the following links: