Review 145 : Sylvaine – Atoms Aligned, Coming Undone – English

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Whether usually a band’s musical ideas come from every member, it does not work like this for Sylvaine.

Founded in 2013 by Katherine Shepard (vocals/every instruments and guitar on stage), the multi-instrumentalist gives life alone, even if her father Stephen Shepard records drums, to what will be the first full-length of her project in 2014. The second album will only take two years to be released, helped by her new contract with Season Of Mist, and the frontwoman hires musicians to support her on stage. But she is the only one to compose Atoms Aligned, Coming Undone, her third album. Close your eyes and let loose in her world.

Sylvaine - Atoms Aligned, Coming Undone

The album begins by Atoms Aligned, Coming Undone, the eponymous track and its enigmatic introduction. Quickly, the singer’s voice joins this metallic sound that molds into mystic rhythmic. Slowly but surely, airy riffs evolve around us, get angry, calm down, strongly come back with a raging blast beat… Every ambience succeed and melt to the others to finally lead to Mørklagt. This second track leaves more space for the bass, but is also quieter than the first song. Katherine opens with a calm and restful voice, while her guitar screams its melancholy on the background. Rhythmic runs riot, and screams come to us, hammering the composition into an atmospheric blackness that won’t even turns off when clean vocals come back. Instruments shut down to let place to Abeyance. More heady, this composition also plays on the dark and ethereal side of Sylvaine’s music, while rekindling the flame with calmer moments that create a fascinating contrast.
Worlds Collide allows a moment of lethargy with its slow rhythm and nostalgic riffs, whereas the singer cradles us with her divine clean voice. Whether it is with words or just whispers, the young lady leads this dance with a burst of energy that make the composition end. We resume with Severance, considerably more piercing. Since the very beginning of the song, I felt some kind of oppression, and screams that occur literally exorcised it, allowing the music to dévelop those shining sonorities that will leave the riffs again during the last song and extract of the album, L’Appel Du Vide’s introduction. Once more, the pressure increases, even when the singer offers us delicate and enchanting vocals. This sensation becomes more and more pressing, even stifling and unbearable until this lead guitar progressive flashover that rises and finally cease all of a sudden.

With Atoms Aligned, Coming Undone, Sylvaine won the gamble to make us shiver, feel that we exist through six intense and full of emotion tracks. The composer’s influence panel allow her to create an unique sound that she perfectly harnesses. But I had the opportunity to live it and here is my advice: if you can attend to a show, just do it. You won’t regret it for anything in the world.


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