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zeromancer orchestraofknives
Artist: Zeromancer
Title: Orchestra of Knives
Genre: Synth Rock
Release Date: 24th September 2021
Label: Trisol Music Group

Album Review

It’s been eight years since the last ZEROMANCER album ‘Bye-Bye Borderline’ in 2013. While it became calmer around ZEROMANCER - the members have been active with their other music projects - as SEIGMEN released a new album back in 2015, two albums by LJUNGBLUT followed in 2016 and 2018, but also many live shows and other projects were filling the past few years.

But back to ZEROMANCER and this moment when the new album finally blasts through your room. Ten new songs. This moment when you know there are not that many people yet who were able to listen to it and you give the music it’s time to fill your mind, take your time to feel the chords, to make the beat go through your veins. ‘Testimonial’ blasts with an organic energy right away, calm and tense at the same time. Alex’ soft, but purposeful voice tuning in with the other instruments and sounds, disappearing abruptly with a secretively sang “Now I am your witness - testimonial” to give room for more and stronger tunes. More beautiful noise. And more tension and worry when the voice comes back – “I’ll paint you black to get you back” - I can’t get the picture of those romanticized toxic feelings. They soak you in and never let you out. Hello darkness, my old friend. Here we go again. And how good it is to hear them again. ZEROMANCER are definitely back! To hear the interplay of Alex’ and Kim’s voices in the second part - there is something special about this vocal duet that’s unique and is an absolute guarantee for chills.

‘Damned Le Monde’ as the first single being released some months ago - is a damn great hymn - a slightly confusing mixture of inner worry and energetic “don’t give a f***” a la ZEROMANCER - both, the lyrics and the music create an interplay that gives the energy when everything seems just not bearable. “Fuck it let’s go - Damned le monde”. No better song to be released when we’ve been just in the middle of a never-ending lockdown in the middle of February and I personally felt being perfectly stuck in a very personal kind of lockdown, but also can be perfectly used in any other situation that requires a well-balanced “don’t give a s***” mind-set - the perfect lines to get screamed out loud and get a decent hint of hope and energy back.

‘Transparency’ starts with a dominant initial drum intro that gets covered by a soft layer of beautiful 80s New Wave sound. When Alex starts telling the story: “I am backstage and it’s like a funeral / Nothing is like it’s used to be / […] / All you read is Dostojewski / And all you need is Bukowski” - now to all of the book lovers, you’re welcome to start your interpretations of those lines. The atmospheric music and the lyrics hijack the listener into a lyrical world full of pictures, feelings and stories. A song to listen carefully to - the story about “transparency of a soul”. I could just go on citing the song lyrics but maybe you just listen yourself and make your own story out of it. But be prepared to get pulled out of your dreams at some point - just one more on this “city lights are passing by / what happens on the bus, stays on the bus / let’s leave that town for another one...” - to keep your imagination awake. You’re welcome.

‘Mourners’ - this one is perfection. The second single was released on April 23rd. “In this world - we are twins / You hold the key to everything.” ‘Mourners’ is just pure. It feels so fragile and strong at the same time - another song to water your eyes at the next ZEROMANCER show, whenever it will be. I could write pages about it, but I recommend you just feel. A bit more into the Industrial Rock vibe here we go. ‘Birthday’ is dark, wild, somewhat frightening maybe - “Pretty things get ugly” - not the typical birthday song you’d expect. Or maybe it is? The well-known ZEROMANCER sound gets prominent here: “Hell, you don’t know what I am going through”. If you are looking for that song to shout out your frustration about someone here you’re very welcome to join the choir! And here we go with the last and 3rd single of the album. ‘Terminal Love’ is playful, filled with that soft melancholy floating, but also absolutely strong. This is probably one of the most dominant characteristics of this album. It plays with the balance between fragile, soft, absorbing melancholy and engaging strength and determination.

The song with the most intriguing title to me, ‘Worth Less Than Deutsche Marks To Me’, oh YES! This one has energy, hello Industrial vibes! Dangerous, dirty, electronic, you feel and in this case also hear the tension crawling through your veins - slow, tearing, restricting - making the feeling of inconvenience becoming your air to breath. Even if you don’t feel the distance between the razors and your skin being not more than the thickness of a coin. You better don’t breath too deep. And here we go for the album title song, ‘Orchestra Of Knives’. The beginning feels almost like taking a deep breath after the last song, just to switch to an overall worrying atmosphere and somewhat even slightly oriental touch in the synth melody in between, a little bit of horror here and there, and if you didn’t feel the knives yet you’ll literally hear them now.

When listening through the album for the first time - the following was the song that caught me emotionally probably the most - beside of the songs that I already knew. The tension from the previous song disappears completely at first, just to culminate in another way while the song is growing. ‘Stand On Ceremony’ - the title reveals it already - spherical, fragile, spiritual and incredibly nostalgic. It’s hard to describe a song that hits you in such an intense way but when you think about those mystical rituals you always read about as a teenager this is what it might feel like on the one hand, while at the same time feeling absolutely different too. The final song, ‘San Zero’, kicks you out of the album. You expected a soft landing back in your reality? I am sorry, that is not gonna happen. This is a massive one. You get 3:11 min strong guitar and bass load and shouts right in your face. Feeling yourself again? You’re welcome.

ZEROMANCER show that their creative energy is stronger than ever. The song-writing developed further, without changing what makes the ZEROMANCER sound so outstanding! And this makes it so fascinating to discover the new long-player. This album is created to be played live in all its facets and I cannot wait to hear and see it being performed live on stage. ‘Orchestra Of Knives’ is a bouquet of emotions - dangerous, soft, tense, pure and always real. If you are ready for an intense, dirty, yet fragile ride, you are welcome on board. Please fasten the seat belts. And get ready for some emotional rollercoasters.


01. Testimonial
02. Damned Le Monde
03. Transparency
04. Mourners
05. Birthday
06. Terminal Love
07. Worth Less Than Deutsche Marks To Me
08. Orchestra Of Knives
09. Stand On Ceremony
10. San Zero


Alex Møklebust - Vocals
Kim Ljung - Bass, Vocals
Norald Ronthi - Drums
Per-Olav Wiik - Guitar
Lorry Kristiansen - Keyboard

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Cover Picture

zeromancer orchestraofknives


Music: 10
Sound: 10
Total: 10 / 10

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