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-ii- - Extinction (2021) - Review

Band: -ii-
Album title: Extinction
Release date: 10 March 2021
Label: Self-Released
Genre: Industrial, Gothic, Noise Rock, Dark Pop

01. Tenebrism
02. The Rings Of Saturn
03. Void
04. My Flesh
05. Slave
06. Fire In The Streets
07. November Skirt
08. Purify
09. Zero Day

The French trio -ii-, also called Two Eyes, released their debut full-length Extinction, featuring nine songs of cold and devilish nature with a captivating but haunting atmosphere. After the debut EP Lighthouse, released in 2018, followed by some singles, of which one of them is featured on this album, this female-fronted band shows a stunning and powerful performance that will shake the inner core of everybody who loves deep, deviant and dark spiced up music. If with the debut EP the band left a mark in the gothic/darkwave scene, with Extinction the borders fall because this music aims strongly into the industrial/electronic, dark cinematic, noise/post-rock and ambient territories.

The music of -ii- is dark and the only thing that gives it some light are the soothing seductive but sinister Hélène's vocals. Influenced by many aspects of gothic and coldwave music, the band managed to create shimmering and gloomy sound waves that sound like a soundscape appropriate as background music for some kinky party in a goth club. I will not deny that the tracks with the most tumultuous and eerie atmosphere, like is the opener "Tenebrism" or "My Flesh" are my favourites, but as well the groovy/danceable ones like is "Slave" with its metallic undertone or the ghostly ambiental pulsar "Fire In The Streets" hit the red spot. I'm sure that the evocative and emotional melodic lines of "Purify" will find the spot on many gothic rock/metal playlists, while the emotional dark pop closer "Zero Day", which reminds me a little to How To Destroy Angels, is a piece that will spice up some romantic nights.

Sometimes minimalistic, but often intense and full of mystical power that alternates between the more emotional, atmospheric and tortured industrial pulses is captivating, and certain choruses are catchy as hell. The synthetic sound gets sometimes into the suffocating heights, mostly when the reverberate and martial bass lines penetrate your mind like alienate noisy beats. The distorted and manipulated guitar sound smoothly adds a layer of strength, but it's because of the obsessive danceable apocalyptic rhythmic lines that -ii-'s music gains constant commotion. It's like something that can be experienced if you can imagine a weird mix between Nine Inch Nails and Chelsea Wolfe, but -ii- try to make experiments and so they dwell in another sonic world, an imaginary world of forbidden rituals, deviant eroticism and oppressive reality, while still keeping some kind of an urban feel to it with appealing dark pop sensuality.

Extinction is an enjoyable album from start to finish, is dynamic, has depth and a sombre bewitching hypnotic atmosphere. If you want to experience it as a whole, you need to pay some attention to all of the hidden layers that reveal in time. -ii- did a coherent and compulsive piece of sonic art, something that is often missed in the contemporary industrial/gothic scene. Obscure but sweet, slightly perverse but gentle, melancholic but full of energy are the words that can best describe the impact that Extinction will have on the listener. With a high replay value, this gloomy pictural sonic work will keep many of the fans of darker sounds focused for quite some time. Take a trip in the dark with Two Eyes, you'll not regret it.

The review was written by Tomaz
Rating: 8/10



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