Artist: The Machine in the Garden
CD Title: Before and After the Storm
Label: Deus ex Musica
Genre: Ethereal / Darkwave
Where to buy: http://www.tmitg.com/merch.php
Reviewer: Scott Sweet
Darkwave favorites Summer Bowman and Roger Frace return with their eighth studio album. This has a limited CD pressing, and is mainly offered as a digital download with the above image.
My first impression is that parenthood and Triathlons have energized tMitG. Both the music and promo photos show a little more "edge" than in the past. It's a good contrast to Bowman's "heavenly voices" work with Dru Allen (This Ascension) in Mirabilis. While "Before and After the Storm" has hints of Android Lust and Collide, Bowman and Frace maintain their signature style.
It kicks off with "Cimmerian", a tribal dance song with E-minor drama. "Scathefire", besides the cool title, has a good menacing rhythm. "Metallic" has simliar appeal. "The Piano" is a disarming interlude, relying mainly on that instrument and Bowman's voice. "Power and Prophesy" is the dancefloor shoo-in, solid 90's darkwave with a deathrock guitar hook. "Mending the Sky" has a minimal keyboard intro worthy of Sigur Ros, then adds a layer every few bars to become a soothing ethereal piece with dual vocal tracks. Four tracks have alternate mixes with "Scathefire (Fire Mix)" being my favorite.
"Before and After the Storm" takes tMitG into new waters. Ethereal and darkwave can blend as well as peanut butter and chocolate. Please, you know that's an awesome combination.
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