ARTIST: Frozen Plasma
LABEL: Metropolis Records
REVIEWER: Matthew J.
After spending some time on their other projects, Reaper's Vasi Vallis and Diorama's Felix Marc have returned with a second full-length album from their collaborative synthpop project. Preceded by a slew of singles and remix EPs, it's an even mix of heartfelt ballads and high-energy club stomps, all anchored by Vallis' production and Marc's heartfelt tenor. It's the slower tracks that are the most affecting, particularly "Almond Flowers," an extended piece that sees Marc crooning over layers of tinkling synthesizers, laid back electronic beats, and delicate pianos. Surprisingly, the album's other standout track, at least as far as emotional impact goes, is an instrumental; "Natural Born Liars" is ethereal, progressive, and gorgeously sentimental despite an absence of vocals. As far as the more dance-oriented offerings go, they range from straightforward synthpop like the bittersweet but up-tempo "The Speed of Life" and sunny piano-laced "Touching Ground" to EBM-tinged numbers like "Murderous Trap" and the German-language "Tanz die Revolution" which recall synthpop/EBM crossovers like Pride and Fall, Les Anges de la Nuit, and even VNV Nation, not to mention Vallis' former project, Namnambulu. Though the album itself does feel a little overstuffed, with an extended mix of "The Speed of Life" being somewhat unnecessary, it's a solid release for the pair, combining the best of Vallis' skills as a dance producer with some of Marc's most heartfelt vocal work yet.
Visit Vasi Vallis and Felix Marc at www.frozenplasma.com for more information.
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