Chandeen - Blood Red Skies
Darkwave, Ambient What we have on our hands this time out from Chandeen is the album you play after you've ended a relationship. Despite the gorgeous arrangements of many songs on here, at their core there is much sadness. They are riddled by regrets and more than one of them gives you the exhilarating sensation of standing on a ledge looking directly down. If their last album "Teenage Poetry" was a resurrection and return to the land of the living then this one is a cementing of their potent chemistry via a bitterly delicious bouquet of what may someday be regarded as their most memorable era. This is not said lightly, I have followed Chandeen since their debut "Shaded by the Leaves". No one was more gutted than I by their split after the release of my personal favorite of theirs: the beguilingly alienated "Jutland". This band and I have been together so long that when I got their latest I almost couldn't listen to it because to do so with Chandeen is to open yourself up to the possibility of having your expectations terribly crushed or, as was the case with "Blood Red Skies", wildly exceeded.

Harald Lowy, the only remaining original member has obviously decided to forget the past and do with Chandeen what he has always done: create bliss through the usage of shimmering atmospheres and angelic vocals. Julia Beyer is now that voice. She sounded a bit timid on the last record but there's nothing except fiery confidence on display this time and her words, wow, what has gone on in her world to have penned the things she's put down. I continue to return to the song "The Longing" as it somehow manages to rival their all-time masterpiece, "Mysterious Clouds" from the Red Letter Days single way back in 1994. Antje and Catrin, you're very missed but perhaps this is the underlining message I've gotten from what's been unveiled in 2011: you were very important to this band and your contributions never less than stellar but time has marched on. Chandeen are, at this point, not just some collection of pretty wallpaper curios, they are an institution.

This year marks their eighth album and thank god they have opted to give it to us because I hate to think back to a time without them. The fans will know what I'm getting at, that very dark period after "Echoes" where they grew silent. The feel of "Blood Red Skies" retains that album's intensity and expands on the intimacy of their sound dramatically. I firmly believe that if they keep going the way they are, Chandeen will only quit when they run out of inspiration and if this new record is anything to go by that's not going to happen.

Perusing some of their recent photos, one did catch my eye more than the rest and that was one of Oliver Henkel paying the band a visit while they were recording their new one. This, of course, begs the question: was he on here because some of the tracks really run deep, they become almost meditative which was one of Chandeen's hallmarks in ye olde days. I could be over analyzing here, it wouldn't be the first time but one of the major attractions I have always had to this band is how personable they are as people. In interviews and clips on youtube, they frankly discuss what this group are to them and how things have evolved over time. First and foremost, they are friends and for the duration of this album, I get to be part of their world. I'm still listening to what you lot do, which at this point is age 21 to 38.

A lot can change in those years but Chandeen have only gotten better and better with time whereas for the most part I have only gotten more embittered and cynical. It's nice to have a reminder of those wide-eyed optimistic times come around again, I all too easily sweep them under the rug.
5
Brutal Resonance

Chandeen - Blood Red Skies

9.0
"Amazing"
N/A
Electroracle
Spotify
Released 2011 by Kalinkaland Records
What we have on our hands this time out from Chandeen is the album you play after you've ended a relationship. Despite the gorgeous arrangements of many songs on here, at their core there is much sadness. They are riddled by regrets and more than one of them gives you the exhilarating sensation of standing on a ledge looking directly down. If their last album "Teenage Poetry" was a resurrection and return to the land of the living then this one is a cementing of their potent chemistry via a bitterly delicious bouquet of what may someday be regarded as their most memorable era. This is not said lightly, I have followed Chandeen since their debut "Shaded by the Leaves". No one was more gutted than I by their split after the release of my personal favorite of theirs: the beguilingly alienated "Jutland". This band and I have been together so long that when I got their latest I almost couldn't listen to it because to do so with Chandeen is to open yourself up to the possibility of having your expectations terribly crushed or, as was the case with "Blood Red Skies", wildly exceeded.

Harald Lowy, the only remaining original member has obviously decided to forget the past and do with Chandeen what he has always done: create bliss through the usage of shimmering atmospheres and angelic vocals. Julia Beyer is now that voice. She sounded a bit timid on the last record but there's nothing except fiery confidence on display this time and her words, wow, what has gone on in her world to have penned the things she's put down. I continue to return to the song "The Longing" as it somehow manages to rival their all-time masterpiece, "Mysterious Clouds" from the Red Letter Days single way back in 1994. Antje and Catrin, you're very missed but perhaps this is the underlining message I've gotten from what's been unveiled in 2011: you were very important to this band and your contributions never less than stellar but time has marched on. Chandeen are, at this point, not just some collection of pretty wallpaper curios, they are an institution.

This year marks their eighth album and thank god they have opted to give it to us because I hate to think back to a time without them. The fans will know what I'm getting at, that very dark period after "Echoes" where they grew silent. The feel of "Blood Red Skies" retains that album's intensity and expands on the intimacy of their sound dramatically. I firmly believe that if they keep going the way they are, Chandeen will only quit when they run out of inspiration and if this new record is anything to go by that's not going to happen.

Perusing some of their recent photos, one did catch my eye more than the rest and that was one of Oliver Henkel paying the band a visit while they were recording their new one. This, of course, begs the question: was he on here because some of the tracks really run deep, they become almost meditative which was one of Chandeen's hallmarks in ye olde days. I could be over analyzing here, it wouldn't be the first time but one of the major attractions I have always had to this band is how personable they are as people. In interviews and clips on youtube, they frankly discuss what this group are to them and how things have evolved over time. First and foremost, they are friends and for the duration of this album, I get to be part of their world. I'm still listening to what you lot do, which at this point is age 21 to 38.

A lot can change in those years but Chandeen have only gotten better and better with time whereas for the most part I have only gotten more embittered and cynical. It's nice to have a reminder of those wide-eyed optimistic times come around again, I all too easily sweep them under the rug.
Dec 23 2011

Peter Marks

info@brutalresonance.com
Writer and contributor on Brutal Resonance

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