Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Subfinal – Passages (2012)

Limted to 50 Copies

“We are here to create a symbiosis of music, words and art”, Subfinal members Lars-Erik Hansen and Rasmus H.K. Welling state on their Facebook page. “Passages”, their first EP, definitely proves this statement true. 

Subfinal spread their disenchanted poetry throughout this EP of eight tracks, the introduction and interludes representing four of them. All vocals are spoken, not a barrier for Subfinal, as the band manages to express their vision of the world and transmit emotions to the listener. Vocals are indeed extremely powerful and filled with restrained anger. The diction is perfect, the voice low and drawling, a beautiful voice emotionally charged. Musically, Subfinal seems to be strongly influenced by the darkest Joy Division, as atmospheres are here desolated and cold. The band blends Dark Wave with Neo Folk and Martial/Industrial shades. Subfinal stands somewhere in between.  The tone is set from the intro. Dark atmosphere, spoken words, inviting you to “Real, Grim, Beautiful Reality”. “City of Whores” ‘s rhythmic section draws a quiet musical sheet where vocals are softly laid, while synths give more musical depth. “Corridor Wasteland” takes it a bit further with stronger guitars and angrier vocals. With “Amplexus” and “The Passage”, rhythm gets even slower than before. “The Passage” features very soft, melancholic piano and violin. It’s a very peaceful track, sad and beautiful. Between these tracks, instrumental interludes bring back the Joy Division spirit, especially “(Hollow Commandment 3..0)” and its dramatic guitars.

When listening to “Passages”, no track stands out, as it more of an atmospheric work, thought and created with an artistic and aesthetic approach. You’ll have to let yourself drown in this particular slow, dark and disillusioned world, keeping in mind the band’s statement to understand –and enjoy- this EP. It is not an easy thing to do, but it is worth the try. “Passages” could easily become an underground cult record. It has all the requirements : it’s an obscure, spiritual and confidential work. If you are reading this, you must have a curious and educated ear, so give it a chance.

Guillaume Renard