Aug 2016 22

NOIR - The Burning Bridge EPNOIR
Category: Darkwave / Electro / Goth
Album: The Burning Bridge EP
Stars: 4
Blurb: Familiar and new at the same time, this latest EP from Athan Maroulis’ NOIR proves that we have much to look forward to and be excited about.


 

NOIR’s new EP, The Burning Bridge has the unique ability of feeling at once familiar and new at the same time. The grind of dark electro coupled with Athan Maroulis’ crooning vocals are sure to transport the listener to another place and time, a mid ‘90s renaissance when Spahn Ranch, Leæther Strip, and Front Line Assembly fought for supremacy on the dance floor. After a three year hiatus, it’s a pleasant return to form for NOIR.

“The Burning Bridge” is danceable, catchy, and Maroulis’ smooth vocals create a sonic space that is inviting and comfortable in any club. Catchy lyrics are a staple of NOIR’s music and “The Burning Bridge” doesn’t break the mold in that respect. Meanwhile, “Same Old Madness” is a very strong track and almost outshines the EP’s title track. The song, originally released by MINISTRY in 1982, remains relevant and powerful, especially in the capable hands of Maroulis and company. His voice is filled with despondency and resignation and accentuates the dark, atmospheric wall of sound perfectly.

The second cover song on the four track EP, Duran Duran’s “The Chauffer” moves into a quieter space for a moment, giving us soft music and faint backing vocals that seem to channel the ethereal into the track. The background vocals are just haunting enough to merit recognition of their presence without detracting from the rest of the song. To say this track is well arranged and deftly produced would be an understatement; this EP’s strength is that every track feels so solid and distinct.

“In Every Dream Home a Heartache” is a great, slow, moody, and atmospheric track, and while a testament to Maroulis’ ability both in the studio and live, the track seems a bit loud in parts and may require a volume adjustment for listeners. However, considering this track is a live recording, which you wouldn’t realize by listening to it due to the quality of the performance, the volume issue detracts little from the track. The track is a fitting end to an EP that is powerful from start to finish.

If this EP is a sign of things to come for NOIR, then we all have much to look forward to and be excited about.
 
Track list:

  1. The Burning Bridge
  2. Same Old Madness
  3. The Chauffeur
  4. In Every Dream Home a Heartache (Live on WFMU)

 
NOIR
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Metropolis Records
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Purchase at:
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Bandcamp
 
2016-05-27
 
Brian McLelland (BMcLelland)

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