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priest newflesh
Artist: Priest
Title: New Flesh
Genre: Synth Pop / Electro
Release Date: 17th November 2017
Label: Lövely Records

Album Review

In case you love dark Synth Pop and have missed the release of ‘New Flesh’ by PRIEST, make sure to listen to this thrilling debut album. The Stockholm-based trio PRIEST is produced by former GHOST members and presents itself masked and hidden behind the personas Mercury, Salt, and Sulphur. It is not only the secrecy and mystery that fuels the curiosity, it is the apparent musical variety and proficiency PRIEST demonstrate on ‘New Flesh’.

The album that centers around the merging of humanity with machines starts with ‘The Pit’, a song with a dark and driving mid-tempo beat and a generally gloomy, yet alluring atmosphere. If you think about dancing lonely in the dark, this is the perfect warm-up. With a properly accelerated heart rate, the second track ‘Vaudeville’ with its much higher tempo and dynamics starts. After that, PRIEST slow down a bit with the beautiful ballad ‘History in Black’ that reminds me of KITE when I hear it for the first time. The concentrated synth sounds, the constant deep rhythm, and the almost haunting vocals create an urgency I can impossibly resist. ‘History in Black’ marks an early highlight on ‘New Flesh’. Number four, ‘The Populist’, feels like a mid-tempo club banger from the nineties, only darker and more advanced production-wise. It is the perfect preparation for the following ‘The Cross’ that makes me shiver as soon as the beat kicks in. Modern Darkwave meets classic Synth Wave and I am temporarily reminded of old Depeche Mode songs. ‘The Cross’ is easily one of the best songs on the album.

By now, I have travelled quite far into the future and images of Erasure and EURHYTHMICS keep randomly popping up inside my mind. I am convinced that nothing is going to surprise me anymore. Until, that is, I hear ‘Private Eye’ that spices strangely sweet vocals with an unmistakable eighties flavor without losing its darker spirit. It is followed by the vibrating minimal ‘Nightmare Hotel’ which feels like something the vampires in the club in the Blade movie might enjoy. This atmosphere is kept alive in the mid-tempo song ‘Virus’ with its catchy chorus. PRIEST move from catchy synth-pop to soft Electro Pop with ‘Call My Name’ that, despite all its lightness, manages to transport the dark character of ‘New Flesh’ through the lyrics. Only to transcend into ‘Reloader’, the slow and intense finale of the album where you can eventually lose yourself if you are still clinging to the here and now.

‘New Flesh’ is a remarkable debut that combines catchy synth-pop with dark lyrics and themes. Does it work as the concept album PRIEST have talked about? While I am uncertain if I can truly agree, the music never fails to reach and move me. The production is almost flawless and the instrumental as well as vocal skills are notable. Mercury’s sometimes distant, sometimes emotional and intimate voice holds me captive while beats and rhythms have a somehow hypnotizing effect. The downside: Ten songs with a runtime of about thirty-six minutes make ‘New Flesh’ a rather short pleasure - but a pleasure it is.


01. The Pit
02. Vaudeville
03. History in Black
04. Populist
05. The Cross
06. Private Eye
07. Nightmare Hotel
08. Virus
09. Call My Name
10. Reloader


Mercury – Vocals
Salt – Synthesizer
Sulphur – Synthesizer


Cover Picture

priest newflesh


Sound: 8
Music: 9
Total: 8.5 / 10

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