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Lord Vigo > Danse de noir > Reviews
Lord Vigo - Danse de noir

Journey forth through endless galactic wastes - 86%

Woltcher, March 10th, 2021
Written based on this version: 2020, CD, High Roller Records

It's been known for years, that atmosphere can make or break any concept album - a blessing or a curse. We've heard them - packed with sang poetry, amazing riffs and whatnot - albeit lacking the single ingredient that could elevate 'em even higher - the atmosphere. Of course, there are multiple albums which were successful in achieving it - not only that - playing with it, twisting it. Naming a few - legendary "Night of the Stormrider" by Iced Earth or "Operation: Mindcrime" by Queensr├┐che - both of them got their message across flawlessly, sustaining harmonious coherence and creating superb atmosphere. At this point we reach Lord Vigo, a relatively fresh band from Germany, obsessed with doom metal and bearing a name from a character in Ghostbusters movie. After "Blackbourne Souls" and The Fog inspired "Six Must Die", they've released "Danse de Noir", which is the subject of today's review.

Taking a dive into deep universe of Blade Runner requires a certain set of ideas, which won't make it sound like a completely illogical mess clumped together to make it a thematic album. For those unfamiliar - in short, Blade Runner is about questioning ones' humanity in the world filled with bio-engineered replicants, pondering on the nature and future of degrading mankind, and the sense of morality on a completely depleted world, while megacorporations continue to colonize and drain more and more planets, leaving the waste behind. Lord Vigo managed to pour that dark and melancholic atmosphere into "Danse de Noir" with multiple standout aspects.

The vocalist - Vinz Clortho is more than capable of controlling his tone, serving us a lament-like style that lets him set up the mood for a concept of dystopian future. Albeit not painfully precise in his delivery, he is able to make it up with his unique timbre. Throughout an entire length of the album, we're served with a moderate amount of vocal styles, ranging from lamenting, to quick rhythmical singing. Vinz really starts to shine in tracks like "At the Verge of Time" and "Shoulder of Orion" - where he combines his style with vocals suit for traditional doom metal, but most notably on "Between Despair and Ecstasy" - going deep in vein of gothic metal with surprising flexibility. His overall performance elevates the emotions such as hopelessness and emptiness in each composition, with a masterful conviction.

As for guitarwork - we're presented with fairly simple, but effective riffs and licks, ranging from melancholic to uplifting. Most melody lines are highly reliant on chords (especially in "Danse de Noir" and "Memento Mori"), crafted specifically to echo the mood throughout the composition, rather than having a typical lead line. This approach gives band more separation for the synths to kick in - in the form of choirs, saws and organs, supporting the darker atmosphere they went with.

Something that bothers me about this album is how sloppy some rhythm parts are. Drums not hitting the click both during transitions and rhythmic parts (and it's audible, believe me), bass hitting too early/too late. The most obvious example of such occurrences is "At the Verge of Time". This makes the album feel a bit rushed, like they needed a bit more time to polish their performance. But don't let a few misplays ruin your experience, as we're entering...

The atmosphere. That's definitely the strongest part of the album. Rugged, aggressive mix, with big synths and thick, harmonic chords. In between tracks we're presented with short "introductions", sampled off the legendary Blade Runner (1982), accompanied with wide, airy saws that could make some synthwave producers blush. After such introduction, the tracks smoothly blend in into sudden doom onslaught, making us remember that we're not in fact dreaming, but spiraling towards such future. Take it for granted - there's no sabaton-grade disco synths, but rather a successful re-approach to maestro Vangelis's compositions set and bound in that dystopian setting. Presented use of synthesizers connects just right with the melody and the mood of each individual track, creating a perfect sonic image lads at Lord Vigo wanted us to experience.

All in all, Lord Vigo's "Danse de Noir" is a well-thought out album with tons of potential for their future releases. Soaked with atmospheric synths, Vinz's lamentations, dark riffs and great lyrics, it takes you for a journey of mankind's unstoppable decay.

Highlights: "Danse de Noir", "Shoulder of Orion", "Between Despair and Ecstasy", "As Silence Grows Old".