Alan Woxx - Bloodrain
Darkwave, Coldwave Sometimes you don't realize you're looking for something until you accidentally stumble upon it. Such was my fortuitous introduction to the criminally underrated music of French dark synth maestro Alan Woxx. Browsing through a Croatian New Wave group on Facebook one day, I followed a link to a late 80s song by an experimental electronic Italian band, and soon found Mr. Woxx's image staring sullenly back at me from Youtube's sidebar with what seemed like a defiant challenge in his eyes. Okay, challenge accepted. Why not? I clicked on "Bloodrain" with no idea what to expect, and, when the music kicked in, almost immediately thought: "Well, goddamn! Why haven't I heard this before?" The best way I can describe hearing "Bloodrain" for the first time is that it's like suddenly remembering some half-forgotten, dimly-remembered dream-- simultaneously fresh, yet strangely familiar. Having experienced one of those rare epiphanies, I hastened to order the limited-edition, three-song Bloodrain MCD, described on Woxx's official Facebook profile as "the unreleased soundtrack for the end of the world."

The first track, a lush instrumental titled "Like a Saviour of Death," runs a little under four minutes. It opens with an ominous rumbling and the cawing of crows, and then becomes an organ dirge with lighter notes tiptoeing elegantly like spectral grave-dancers across a cold soundscape. Featuring what sounds like stringed instruments, this atmospheric piece immediately conjures images of caskets and funeral processions, and would be perfectly suited for a horror movie score.

A finely-crafted darkwave masterpiece that swirls like mist, the nine-minute title track opens with Woxx hypnotically intoning the words: "A subtle music, so near and so far, as it came from infinite abysses without beginning and without end..." A wave of soothing, melancholic piano washes over the listener like a lullaby, then pauses before exploding into a propulsive rhythm. The haunting synth and driving guitar establish an increasingly dense aura of gloom and yearning, while Woxx's heavily accented vocals, ranging from a breathy whisper to a distorted growl, convey an unrelenting ache until he reaches the refrain, "Can you see us now? Can you hear us now?" and an angelic soprano's voice soars up and pierces the clouds. Intoxicating and euphoric, "Bloodrain" is a song you'll want to listen to again and again.

The catchy closing song, "The Rainbow of Hell," begins minimally with the cinematic organ sounds central to "Like a Saviour of Death," but adds hypnotic spoken vocals reminiscent of Only Theatre of Pain-era Rozz Williams and a thumping bassline in the latter half that's sure to entice all denizens of the dark onto a smoke-filled dance floor in a hurry. "Like you," Woxx reminds us from his throne of bones in a crypt somewhere in France, "I chose exile in the internal kingdom of darkness." Here's to hoping that when he finishes polishing all of his skulls, he'll treat us to a full-length album someday!
5
Brutal Resonance

Alan Woxx - Bloodrain

Sometimes you don't realize you're looking for something until you accidentally stumble upon it. Such was my fortuitous introduction to the criminally underrated music of French dark synth maestro Alan Woxx. Browsing through a Croatian New Wave group on Facebook one day, I followed a link to a late 80s song by an experimental electronic Italian band, and soon found Mr. Woxx's image staring sullenly back at me from Youtube's sidebar with what seemed like a defiant challenge in his eyes. Okay, challenge accepted. Why not? I clicked on "Bloodrain" with no idea what to expect, and, when the music kicked in, almost immediately thought: "Well, goddamn! Why haven't I heard this before?" The best way I can describe hearing "Bloodrain" for the first time is that it's like suddenly remembering some half-forgotten, dimly-remembered dream-- simultaneously fresh, yet strangely familiar. Having experienced one of those rare epiphanies, I hastened to order the limited-edition, three-song Bloodrain MCD, described on Woxx's official Facebook profile as "the unreleased soundtrack for the end of the world."

The first track, a lush instrumental titled "Like a Saviour of Death," runs a little under four minutes. It opens with an ominous rumbling and the cawing of crows, and then becomes an organ dirge with lighter notes tiptoeing elegantly like spectral grave-dancers across a cold soundscape. Featuring what sounds like stringed instruments, this atmospheric piece immediately conjures images of caskets and funeral processions, and would be perfectly suited for a horror movie score.

A finely-crafted darkwave masterpiece that swirls like mist, the nine-minute title track opens with Woxx hypnotically intoning the words: "A subtle music, so near and so far, as it came from infinite abysses without beginning and without end..." A wave of soothing, melancholic piano washes over the listener like a lullaby, then pauses before exploding into a propulsive rhythm. The haunting synth and driving guitar establish an increasingly dense aura of gloom and yearning, while Woxx's heavily accented vocals, ranging from a breathy whisper to a distorted growl, convey an unrelenting ache until he reaches the refrain, "Can you see us now? Can you hear us now?" and an angelic soprano's voice soars up and pierces the clouds. Intoxicating and euphoric, "Bloodrain" is a song you'll want to listen to again and again.

The catchy closing song, "The Rainbow of Hell," begins minimally with the cinematic organ sounds central to "Like a Saviour of Death," but adds hypnotic spoken vocals reminiscent of Only Theatre of Pain-era Rozz Williams and a thumping bassline in the latter half that's sure to entice all denizens of the dark onto a smoke-filled dance floor in a hurry. "Like you," Woxx reminds us from his throne of bones in a crypt somewhere in France, "I chose exile in the internal kingdom of darkness." Here's to hoping that when he finishes polishing all of his skulls, he'll treat us to a full-length album someday! Dec 24 2014

Jaime Jeske

info@brutalresonance.com
Writer and contributor on Brutal Resonance

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Started in spring 2009, Brutal Resonance quickly grew from a Swedish based netzine into an established International zine of the highest standard.

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