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unquietdead animaignis
Artist: Unquiet Dead
Title: Anima Ignis
Genre: Electronic Rock
Release Date: 18th October 2019
Label: Records DK


Album Review

This two-piece band from the backwaters of Bedfordshire, England have two albums to their name, and have been working hard gigging and playing festivals to promote this and the first album from 2017. They came to my attention by opening a festival in London and they blew me away - quite literally in power terms too! Probably enough energy to power a small town, very deserving of big things. I have to admit I’m a big fan of the band - so advanced warning this will be far from a bad review of their latest album!

What happens when you bring together a fantastic female voice with some rather energetic guitar playing? It’s a tried and tested recipe, so you’ll probably think you’ll know the answer and have a mental audio experience in your head already. Well, think again, this album may make you rethink the obvious clichés. It’s not even the addition of some rather good programming and keyboards, nor the addition of some earworm quality melodies - not even the song writing skills. No, it’s much more than all of that - somehow they have bottled the feel of the band. Often when introduced to a band live their studio sound is, well, different. It’s not even that they have intentionally recorded and produced this album with a live sound. Again, it’s much more than that - it’s capturing the essence, the soul of the band that makes this album stand out.

Time to try and describe the bands sound, with the usual comparisons to other artists. I know it’s the easiest way to convey the album to a potential listener, but as always, I feel uncomfortable watering down a band to similarities and influences. However, I will attempt, but please do not think this band is just a mish mash of other bands sounds! Lora Maze provides the vocals, and boy can she sing. She has “the” voice, it stands proud with any great female vocalist I can think of and has a power and range that suits the high energy appeal of the band. She has the power of Siouxsie Sioux, Debbie Harry and the versatility of Emese Arvai-Illes (BLACK NAIL CABARET), Candia Ridley (INKUBUS SUKKUBUS) and Monica Richards. Sublime vocals - and the production when recording her voice is to die for.

Musically Jason Kahl provides the power with a flair for expressing himself with a guitar - yes there is a layered sound that adds electronics (provided by them both), but Jason has a gift that stamps itself hard on the Unquiet Dead sound. Think the love child of NINE INCH NAILS and SKELETON FAMILY, with the genes of punk and new wave - and you’ll still not come close to imagining their sound. As for those already familiar with the band from the first album - ‘Anima Ignis’ is by far a better all-round recording and shows the band is evolving, growing up a little. Not that it’s any where near “middle aged” yet I hasten to add.

‘Flames’ is a confident way to open an album, with the almost chaotic appeal of a jam session, sleazy guitar riffs mix with an ethereal harmony of Lora’s vocals. This is followed by ‘Ash’, one of the singles - a far more polished and predictable UNQUIET DEAD track which sets the mood for the rest of the album - great hooks, riffs, energetic but dark and I love the production involved with Lora’s vocals. Next is ‘Legend’, another single (check out the single remix by MACHINE ROX, highly recommended), with its didgeridoo introduction. ‘Puppet Strings’ is a heavier altogether sound, with a chunky bass and chugging riffs, leading into a rather sexy and powerful cover of DAVID BOWIES ‘Cat People (putting out fire)’ - not belittling their own work in anyway, but a true highlight of the album. Covering such a legendary BOWIE track is a daunting prospect for any band, however the results totally own it.

‘Burn my Head Down is almost a more traditional Gothic number - almost. ‘Build a World Dying for’ is one of the CD’s stand out tracks, very interesting eerie introduction and build up with a fantastically clever mix with Lora’s vocals - great song with strong melody structures. ‘Is this War’ feels a little distinct to the rest of the album, some lovely synth sounds and a different style of structure. ‘I can Hardly Wait’ is a more beefed up sound, swirling around and following Lora’s vocals. Last and not least is the emotional, powerful ‘If You Don’t Want Me’, a perfect demonstration of love, hurt and beauty perfectly blending together - it’s a haunting track and one I often find myself singing to myself.

The album has, on the whole, a chaotic, high energy feel to it, but (and this is where it’s displays its rather clever aptitude, from two rather clever musicians), it isn’t a tiring, tedious or a strenuous listen. I listen to music by mood, sometimes high energy music just doesn’t gel with me - this CD just seems work for me, regardless, no matter which mood I find myself in.


Tracklist

01. Flames
02. Ash
03. Legend
04. Puppet Strings
05. Cat People (Putting Out Fire)
06. Burn My Head Down
07. Bitter Pill
08. Build A World Worth Dying For
09. Is This War?
10. I Can Hardly Wait
11. If You Don't Want Me


Line-up

Lora Maze - Vocals, Sythns, Programming
Jason Kahl - Guitar, Bass, Programming


Website

https://www.facebook.com/unquietdead/


Cover Picture

unquietdead animaignis


Rating

Music: 8.5
Sound: 8.5
Total: 8.5 / 10




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