Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Der Noir – Numeri e Figure (2013)

Der Noir  
Numeri e Figure 

Roman trio Der Noir’s second full-length album follows the path marked by their first one. Sung in English and Italian, it displays gems of Cold Wave / Synth-Pop or “Cold Pop Noir” and some utterly surprising tracks. The first bite is delicious: “Carry On” is very electro, a genuine dance-floor filler with a catchy synth hook and an even catchier chorus backed by post-punk electric guitars. With title track “Numeri e Figure”, the band takes you to poppier grounds. The vocals in Italian add romanticism. “Zero” is very atmospheric yet catchy, and this is Der Noir’s trademark, together with the cold vocals. This time they are in English, enhanced by the Italian accent of the singer, which gives a unique and surprisingly cool taste. “L’Inganno”’s dark synths waves and irresistible bass make it one of the highs of this album. The beat is hypnotic, the vocals in Italian sound elegant and melodious. The trumpet blends in totally and gives more mystery to the song : just beautiful. “Sunrise” is a cool instrumental track, somewhere between 80’s new wave and electro with a dark feel to it. “Kali Yuga” shows more darkness : closer to Gothic Rock, it sounds like a chant to the destruction black goddess. (Is it the electric violin? Anyways, it sounds great.) “She’s the arcane” has a lot to offer too: siren-like noise in the back settles the mood, the chorus is perfect one more time and the sound is more Post Punk, which works great for me. “The Forms” is like an UFO in the dark scene, it is probably one of the most original tracks I have heard in a long time: atmospheric, it could be a soundtrack to a 70’s Italian erotic movie, with its sensual bassline and saxophone. A very interesting track, closer to jazz/funk than rock because of the sax and the subtle drums, and a great way to end the album.

I’m not used to hear dark music in Italian, and I have to say, that if sometimes it works perfectly (“L’Inganno”), sometimes it sounds too sweet to me, especially in poppier songs, like “Numeri e Figure” or “Metamorfosi”. It is not as sharp as English, and create a “romantic” feel that can sometimes warm up too much Der Noir’s “Cold Pop”. The vocals, when sung in English, are unique thanks to the Italian accent. It really give a little something more to Der Noir’s songs. “Numeri e Figure” is an original album with several tones, from pastel to black. All in all it’s reasonably dark, enough to please the darker fans, but not too much so it can appeal to a more mainstream audience. In the end it’s very interesting and definitely worth the listen. Some tracks are really superb (L’inganno, Kali Yuga, The forms), and I hope the band will chose to focus more on the darkest side of their music.

Guillaume Renard