Published on Monday, 12 October 2015 15:15
Album: Sideremesis EP
Release date: 19 October 2015
Label: Apathia Records
02. Backup 1011
04. Pink Circuit Firmware 2.0.15 (Mlada Fronta Remix)
When Erdh, a French two-piece outfit, released their debut Resilient, they've been tagged as a heavier version of Depeche Mode and their sound has been compared to a variety of well-known musical acts, from Nine Inch Nails and Ulver to Type O Negative and Paradise Lost. There might be a glimpse of this and that placed all around their sound for sure, as with their debut, Erdh presented themselves with aggressive, even bone-crushing, yet peculiarly arranged guitars riffs, yet smoothed them with progressive passages and enriched them with electronic layers, which resulted in portraying most profound and passionately delivered ambiance swooshing throughout each and every track and also throughout the entire record. No matter what comparison you want to find or you will find, in the end, Erdh comes to be a formation on its own, as their theatrical approach to combine elements of dark electro, industrial music and gothic metal as well as film score music, results in something greatly unique, alluring and breath-taking. With Sideremesis - a four track EP, which in a way serves as a bridge between Resilient and the full length in the making, - the first thing that popped inside my mind was: this is an obscure version of Hurts. The riffing, which presented itself on Resilient is gone, the pace has slowed down and the ambiances spread out through the soundscapes deeper and further. And yet again, the conclusion is the same – this is not and obscure version of Hurts. It's so much more. It's Erdh.
Nicolas Pingnelain and Emmanuel Lévy, who have been a steady duet for three years now, have decided to expand their horizons and again gave us a confirmation, they know no boundaries when it comes to music. When you slide through the tunes on the EP, you get the feeling the sound created on it came so natural to them and as it was composed effortlessly. Even though it does take quite a drastic turn away from Resilient, I'm more than sure anyone who was struck by the brilliancy of it will find the comfort in Sideremesis. More to it – even if this is your first encounter with their music, you can start from here and get entranced by the wondrous world of Erdh.
The EP could somewhat be dissected into two halves: first one combining the 10 minute lasting title track and its follower, "Backup 1011", being a unit for itself, as they create a more profound, magnetic and emotional atmosphere, with "E-Creed" and "Pink Circuit Firmware 2.0.15" creating their own world with their futuristic charge, but still their remain connected with each other in one storyline. The opening "Sideremesis", a track of epic length, offers a wild and mind-consuming, enigmatic ride through so many different ambiances and soundscapes, you can easily get lost. I could divide this song into thirds: the first third being more mechanic and robotic, then warming and opening up within the second third and really intensify the entire emotional charge throughout their last third. The sole opening part of the song singing reminded me of Laibach's "Satanic Versus" with its steady, detached rhythm and Emmanuel's spoken-style of singing, which will definitely put a spell on you. The track then slowly progresses into more flamboyant part, with an incredibly dense, passionate and luscious ambient. And then it slips and slides again to more soothing waters, as the rhythm slows down again and darkness takes over and Lévy serves with a use of semi-operatic vocals, resulting in portraying such enchanting, ethereal, over-whelming dreamy sensations. All in one track. The following "Backup 1011" then follows in a similar manner, like a direct continuation of the opening track, but with a slightly more up-beat tone. As if "Sideremesis" was the bottom of an abyss and "Backup 1011" was the beginning of the staircase to take you from the sheer blackness of it. "E-Creed" then takes a drastic turn in the dynamics of the EP, being more EBM and trip-hop oriented in the beginning and then shifting again into darkness; it's as if you continued your path on that staircase and then somewhere, almost at the top, you looked down and the feelings of fear and angst got the best of you. But in the end you gather your strength, you go on, you continue your path until you reach "Pink Circuit Firmware 2.0.15". A remix done by Mlada Fronta of Pink Circuit, the song originally released on Resilient, is the lucid and hypnotizing peak of your voyage. What surprisingly came to me with this version was, as mostly remixes tend to have its purpose for being played in clubs, Mlada Fronta did something extraordinary here and enhanced the strength of the original song and presented its message from another point of view. This song is just boosting with catchiness and sexiness - veiled in chilling and sombre ambient of course – and its intoxicating energy and mesmerizing vibe will consume you from the first to the last itching nerve cell in your body.
I can't go pass without being a bit too personal here, when I say Erdh is definitely one of the best musical discoveries I have made this year. Not only Sideremesis has me completely hooked with its strange, gloomy electronic tunes, depicting cryptic, yet charismatic and shivery atmosphere from beginning to the end, but Resilient is also an album I would encourage every fan of atmospheric music to give it a spin. Erdh expel in mixing romanticism with futurism, darkness with hope and the cold sensations of mechanics with a wide array of human emotions, to give it a spin. With this EP being a connection between the debut and the upcoming album, all I can say is that I am more than intrigued to hear what masterpiece Erdh will bring next. Sideremesis, though with only four songs, is a world which connects, but also a realm for itself. A beautiful, seductive and dark realm of swooping soundscapes and chilling ambiances.
Review by: Ines