Grave Closure is a collaboration between the musical arranger and sound experimentalist Luca Ascari from Italy and singer-songwriter David Antony Rogers from the UK. Although the two have different approaches, the integration of their styles works out on their release Lenses.
Lenses is a dark, experimental album but it still contains elements of pop here and there. Throughout the album I was most reminded of David Bowie and Scott Walker. At their most experimental you can hear tinges of Walker’s albums such The Drift and Bish Bosch. As far as Bowie goes I think once you hear some of the vocal performances you will know what I'm talking about.
This is an album that may require some effort to get through but is rewarding in the end. It’s certainly not one that you can nonchalantly pop in at a party. Suffice it to say the music on Lenses is more apt for solitude. The songs benefit from scrutiny and analysis.
Up first is “They Walk Amongst Us” which really paints the mood for the remainder of the album. It’s gloomy, bleak and dark but also oddly catchy. The drums drive the atmosphere as the vocalist sings, “Not Hidden In the Dark Alley Ways / Not Frightened Of the Light / No Need For Hidden Secrets / When You Control every Single Mind.” They pick up the pace with “I’m The Wrong Guy” which contains waves of distortion that can overwhelm you while “Nothing” is a misty, ambient piece that slowly unveils itself.
Two of my favorites “My Pity Lover” and “Fair And Modern” don’t have any problem going to the fringe of what music can offer. Scott Walker seems like a direct influence on “Fair And Modern.”
“Love Complete” doesn't shy away from combining multiple synths that cause dissonance and “A New Constellation” embraces what could be considered atonal music. Perhaps the most haunting song is “Last Of Its Kind” which touts absurd, existential lyrics. He sings, “It Were a Pea Soupier / When I spied an Orange beacon Flare / / Falling ghostly slow I had to stop and stare / Is it a call of distress?” They close with the title track, which is actually one of the catchiest songs on the album.
Lenses is not for the faint of heart. If you are familiar with artist like Scott Walker, John Cage and other music that isn't afraid to push boundaries this album will be a welcome addition. On the other hand if you aren't that familiar with the places music can go I would approach this with an open mind.
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