CD title: "Below The City"
Label: Dreamweb Music/Metropolis
Released: May 13th, 2013
Having been a big fan of the Mind.In.A.Box project, I was curious to hear THYX, an offshoot of MIAB that seems now to be taking on more momentum with each release coming from that camp. While the previous project was never a dancefloor filling band, they instead crafted great solid songs that could take the listener to any emotion, and I was sure that would continue with this project
On first listen through, the first thing that strikes me is that while it sounds remeniscent of MIAB, it also, in it's own way...doesn't. Yes, there is a small amount of vocoder work, and some breakdowns that could quite easily be from MIAB's "Crossroads" there is also growth, and in essence, I think this is Stefan Poiss showing us that he can create soundscapes that still draw us in, and create great songs without the constraints of writing for the "Black" character and having to tell his story.
First track "Searching" builds up, pulsing along quite nicely, and allowing a lot of open space during breakdowns for the song to breathe when it needs to, a great little opening track.
Up next is "The Endless Journey" building itself up in a good fashion, driving itself to a mesmerising vocal in the chorus extorting us that "time waits for no man" and to follow your dreams to the end, to use your minds and imagination. With the following track "Network of light", Poiss has moments where he can make empty space capture our ears, when the music partly quietens for the main vocals, it still retains it's presence to support them. The closest i think on the album to a dancefloor song. "The Street" starts slowly, gaining layers as it continues, before hitting a passionate chorus, telling us "I will not let you go", with some nice subtle pianowork in the mix as well at points, before building into a crescendo that uplifts the listener with it's fullness of sound and the insistent vocals. It's certainly this reviewers favourite track on the album! "Hate" follows from this, pulsing, building, then coming in strong, the vocals strong and emotive in places, and subdued in others, but all combining to work well together. After this there's some respite at the start of "Survival Instinct" but you know it's not going to stay that way, and it kicks in, with lyrics that make me think of some post-apocalyptic place. "Alien Love" is the next song on the album, opening with some nice piano work, before some plaintive, vocals come in, sounding almost desperate in places. Slow but insistent the song captivates the listener then suddenly it's finished. "Roses" follows this, and builds up the momentum again, the song grooving along before an uplifting, almost trademark, breakdown. The title track of the album starts slowly, some very nice classical guitar work (yes, guitar!) coming in before the beat kicks in. An almost droning vocal takes us to the end of the song after a couple of short verses, repeating the refrain "Freedom of life, I hope we meet again", then it fades out leaving us with a couple of bars of the guitar to end it. "Timeless" is the final track on the album, with some very nice vocoder work and atmospheres, a fitting end to the album.
As I mentioned at the start, it's not a band/project that will fill dancefloors, but it is a project that will take you on a sonic journey, and has a full range of sounds and emotions to do so. Uncontained by any set expectations it's an album that will deliver what some bands can't, and I for one hope the project takes itself to the live stage, which if it does, promises to be as emotional an experience as MIAB live.
You can listen to a track here:
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