Category: Industrial / Darkwave / Witch House
Label: Re:Mission Entertainment
Release Date: 2022-06-10
Author: Colin Andrew MacDougall (VexationsandtheVile)
Downtempo percussion, purring synths, and a smattering of guest vocalists are the hallmark elements of Jason Timothy’s work under the Shhadows moniker. Evoking elements of KMFDM with bits of Depeche Mode blended in for good measure, there’s nonetheless a certain artistic signature present in the synthwave-meets-industrial mix presented on Bloodwork.
The varied roster of featured vocalists does somewhat deny a certain predictability in terms of the intrinsic artist. “Out For Blood” is a tripped-out introspective club interlude that trills with Lucia Cifarelli-esque vocals thanks to SORROWS, whereas “Daze Gone” takes a more downtempo darkwave motif with Reiya’s vocals adding their welcome melodic element. However, it’s Jessica Hernandez on “E” that’s (in)arguably the standout in terms of sheer vocal command and gravitas. Conversely, the cover of the Killing Joke classic “Love Like Blood” featuring Dru Allen is good, but if there’s one criticism to be offered, it’s that the more watery vocal production effaces some of the particular charm and characteristics of the vocalist. It’s the three instrumental tracks on the EP that ultimately reveal more of the substance of Shhadows. “Pain Away” starts with Tim Sköld-like whispers before plummeting into an 808-heavy grind, whereas “Resurrection” has retro racer save room vibes, leaving “Broken,” a music box-like denouement, to wind the album down with a glimmer.
Overall, the glossy pop presence atop the club-conducive beats is elegantly disposed and surprisingly effortless to enjoy. At its core, Bloodwork proffers a tastefully understated blend of industrial and darkwave that glistens with a certain romantic, aquamarine shimmer.
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