February 22, 2014

Nightcrawler - Metropolis (2014)

Nightcrawler is an 80's-style synthwave artist who creates dark electronic beats in order to please the dark corporate overlords who have contacted him from the future. This time around, they've requested an electronic synthwave concept album set in the aftermath of World War III wherein the only thing that stands between humanity and its utter annihilation is the harsh  city of Metropolis.

You already know how much I enjoy this particular genre and I'm starting to run out of adjectives to describe it, so let's cut to the chase: Metropolis is good. Not mindblowingly good, but competent at the very least. The main problem I have with this album is that it jumps around all the time - it leaves you the impression that it's building up to something explosive, then it crushes your hype and enthusiasm when you least expect it. It's more of a song arrangement problem than anything else - placing chilled out one minute interludes at every two or three songs is not the way to capture, let alone maintain the interest of your listeners. It feels like going on running marathon and tripping over rocks every two or three minutes, just when things where finally getting intense and exciting. 

But don't get me wrong, I've really enjoyed my time with Metropolis. The songs are very well produced and make for some really interesting visual images. I'll never get bored of the ''Humanity's gone to shit, 'cept for one dirty place where everybody's struggling to survive'' trope. Metropolis delivers everything you would expect from such a concept: outlaws, shady corporations, mobsters, cyber technology and an overall sense of despair and futility. I also like the ''little touches'', like House of Pleasure, which is basically a two minute long piece consisting of a few synth beats and loads of moaning and Control Room which is about, well, a fucking control room, what did you expect? Oh, I almost forgot to mention that this album is heeeeavy in samples, and I'm happy to report that Nightcrawler has done a great job when it comes to placement and selection. Most of them are monologues, so if you want to know more about the the universe that he's created, that's a good place to start. This dude knows how to tell a story through music, there's no question about that. 

So, do I recommend Metropolis? Yes. It's a good album with a great story, and if you're a sucker for dystopias like I am, you should definitely check it out.


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