23 Sep 2021 - Thorsten
Darkwave, Wave, Post-Punk | Isolation Rec. | Release date: 03 Sep 2021
Not having been an avid listener to 80s New Wave and especially the Goth-adjacent Darkwave genre, I have remained a skeptic critic of this kind of music ever since. When I then heard about the new project by one of the guys from one of my favorite Post-Metal outfits my skepticism didn’t calm down. However, after listening to Deathsomnia’s full-length debut You Will Never Find Peace my doubting nerves have been calmed and soothed immensely.
Richard Prowley is one of the guitar players for Essex-based instrumental Post-Metal Telepathy, who released one hell of an impressive album with The Tempest a few years ago and then joined an elite Post-Metal-package with Rosetta and The Ocean. Now Richard is now also in the Darkwave outfit Deathsomnia and with this, any further mention of his other band shall be done away with, because this band is very unique and self-sufficient onto itself.
Deathsomnia’s sound is obviously rooted in a lot of 80s New Wave and Darkwave bands like Tears for Fears of Clan of Xymox, listen to some of the drum kicks in a few of the songs and also the gently opening chorus structures (for example in the opening track ”Deo Non Fortuna”). However, on the other side, one can also hear some clear influences by Industrial bands like Godflesh or others. Yeah, there are even Electronic Noise elements – whether these are trademarks of Uniform’s Ben Greenberg or Mike Sharp who collaborated with Deathsomnia on this record; Greenberg as producer and Sharp providing the drums. Some of the tracks also have a certain Synthwave character and that also shows how open the trio is about their ideas and concepts: They do not strictly try to follow one line of thought but rather try to make use of a whole palette of colors not trying to paint everything black. Nevertheless, this openness also makes it harder to try to see the bigger picture.
On the other hand, the vocals provided by Estonian singer Kadri Sammel are really warm and simultaneously harsh. In some moments it feels as if this is a new crossover singer somewhere between Anne Clark and Annie Lennox. Her voice really carries the tracks and gives them a certain beauty. If anyone really needs labels for this sound and this band – let’s call it Cyberpunk! This music transports the sound of the 80s into the present in a really refreshing way. The fact that their songs are really convincingly old-school and new-school at the same time only displays the level of musicianship and how well-versed the participants are in this kind of musical language. The longtime experience they gathered in their other bands and outfits truly enables them to combine perfectly on this record with a sound that is really “time-less” and therefore also fits the comeback of the 80s synth-sound we have been witnessing over the last couple of years.
Whether one tries to recognize elements from the trio’s other bands in the sound of Deathsomnia is up to oneself, but on the whole that might lead to not getting the bigger picture. Of course, one can identify certain parts to be inspired or rooted in the sound of another band, but that shouldn’t diminish one’s appreciation of You Will Never Find Peace. Otherwise you might not find peace again or end up in a deadly slumber, in a “Deathsomnia”. Come to think about the latter – joining the ranks of those praising this record is definitely not the worst thing to do!