Rarely has a totally DIY debut album treated us to such a range of emotions and sounds. Probably because SLOWSHINE are not new to the scene, even less riffmaking rookies, as some of its members previously earned their stripes in Earth Ship.
“Living Light” is a sublime sonic cocktail that should appeal to any fan of heaviness and melody; it’s hard not to think of a stoner version of Oasis on opening track “Trails” (preferably performed in the desert at sunset), or to imagine Jaz Coleman of Killing Joke suddenly showing up on “Brittles Bones”. But it’s really the sonic patchwork crafted by the German trio that gives a bewitching and addictive unity to this album, making it an undeniable success and one of the most beautiful releases this fall.
However, SLOWSHINE’s purpose is much more tragic than its melodies make you think, as the album concept is nothing but about the extinction of the human race, with Mother Nature taking back its rights on the planet as shown on the artwork. Usually, such a topic gets supported by slow, heavy, and oppressive music, confronting the listener to the nothingness, with no way out. Slowshine don’t do that. They curl us up in a smooth torpor, the last rays of light caressing our faces before the big freeze, carried by Jan’s comforting voice. Noisy parts and sharp guitars alternate with soaring songs (“Wanderer”) — a brutal contrast between the message’s solemnity and the warm sound enveloping us like a safety blanket.
In spite of all the melodic care they put in the album, a staggering fury comes up from time to time (the noisy “Mother Moon”), avoiding any boredom or dumbstruck contemplation and surprising us each time. Only the reverb-drenched vocals and distortion are our Ariadne’s thread.
S’achevant sur un riff qui se répète mais s’éteignant doucement et inexorablement, tel les battements de cœur du dernier être humain avant la disparition définitive de son espèce, concluant en apothéose “Living Light”, qui est sans conteste une réussite en tous points et devrait être un régal en concert.
Ending on a repeated riff that is slowly and inexorably fading away, like the heartbeat of the last human being before our species’ final disappearance, concluding “Living Light” in a blaze of glory. Success on all levels, which should be a treat on stage.
Last modified: 11 November 2021