Five years after beguiling our imaginations with the album Purity, Italian outfit ESTETICA NOIR have once again cast ears in enthrallment. Its successor, This Dream In Monchrome, is nurtured in the shadows of heart and mind, yet an escape from a world hell bent on destruction to a place just as darkly lit and haunting but galvanic escape all the same.
Created by vocalist/guitarist Silvio Oreste and bassist Rik Guido in 2013, the Torino band has released a self-titled EP through Genotype Records and now two albums via Red Cat Records. Their previous encounters certainly escalated attention, the band’s songwriting and sound just as equally as their success and prowess live, a presence seeing Estetica Noir already share stages with the likes of Christian Death, Norma Loy and The Chameleons but a prelude to our assumed success of This Dream In Monchrome.
The band’s sound is an atmospheric fusion of electro, gothic and industrial rock with a rich mix of nostalgic inspiration and new endeavour; a tapestry of virulent sound epitomised within This Dream In Monchrome. Each track has a sense of immediate familiarity and old friendship yet boldly and firmly standalone in their individual character and temptation. Hints of bands such as Nine Inch Nails, The Danse Society, The Cure and Fields of the Nephilim are regular across the release but again as colour to the Italian’s own invention in a release which is their darkest and most tenebrific yet but equally a source of hungry contagion.
From the moment Room of Masks gathers around ears like a tension filled mist, the album proved rich distraction, the subsequent bloom of electronic temptation and drama through the synth of Marco Caliandro as absorbing as Oreste’s similarly edgy tones and words. Calm yet tempestuous in suggestion, the song sets the tone and intimation loaded landscape to come, as too the inherent catchiness which breaks like light within the album’s magnetic caliginous climes.
Sweeper quickly shares its synth pop inclinations as the album’s rousing start continues, that organic catchiness fuelling the heart of the track. Its breath and heart still leans to the sunless through the thought and observation shared by the band but cast in an animated stroll which, led by the rhythmic manoeuvres of Guido and drummer Paolo Accossato, quickly got under the skin.
Darkness returns in full drama within the following Striate Body, the outstanding track a smog of unease and spectral intimation but again bursting with flames of infectious light and enterprise before Autumn haunted ears with its instrumental seduction and Stygian implication. Unique in presence and united in sparking the imagination, each brought new aspect and suggestion to the release as too N.U. with its industrial swagger and earnest outpourings. It too is thick in its breath and tension but equally radiant in its solemn beauty and hopeful sunlight.
Through Dawn of Pluto and Nyctophilia enterprise sought and found new temptation to keep us gripped by the album, the second of the two a slice of invigorating contentment within a body fertile in manipulation and infectiousness. Those eighties scented influences prey on established inner pleasure yet still Estetica Noir weave them into something strikingly new in a darkly vibrant body before X takes ears and imagination to a place of crepuscular mystery and radiance. Resonance of light, breath and Oreste’s inflamed guitar provide a searing entanglement greedily devoured.
The final pair of The Fall, a portentously lit piece of atmospheric and electronic instrumental drama and Climbing up the Loneliness with its haunted thoughts and lively balladry brings the album to a powerful close, each individually breeding intimacy and adventure and together casting a spotlight on everything dramatic, inventive, and potent about This Dream In Monchrome.
Estetica Noir is back with another striking adventure into the darkness and enterprisingly sharing its shadows, beauty and dilemmas through fertile craft and compelling drama.
This Dream In Monchrome is available now through Red Cat Records across most stores.
Pete RingMaster 14/04/2022
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