When it comes to Embrace The Fade, a new album from Heaven Process, its construction is almost as key as the end result. With a big focus on late ’80s and early ’90s synth, Heaven Process creates a dark and murky dream pop sound that is very retro in the most goth sense. The album was written by Justin Lomery who was dealing with a serious bout of depression during the process. As someone who been through a bout or two, maybe seven, myself, I loved that I was listening to someone channel that part of themselves and make something cathartic and productive. This album is thick. There is a lot to unpack and a lot of atmosphere being cultivated. This was an ambitious project and that is the first thing I wanted to acknowledge as I dive in.
This is an immersive and heavy album especially when it comes to the lyrics which are deeply poetic and thoughtful. It could dominate the mood of any room and reshape it in its image. The brooding is strong and decisive with how much vulnerability is shown. I respect the unbridled waves of melancholy, regret and hindsight. These are real things, and instead of hiding behind a smile, the music resides in its honesty. In this aspect, the album is beautiful.
So while this album rests in a very low-fi, low energy place, that doesn't mean it does so in black and white and gray scale. There is a living, beating heart in here that emits lots of saturated, vibrant colors. I think that's the beauty of calling back to an era like the ’80s where nothing was without at least a hint of color. The music is utterly saturated in heavy synth electronic sounds. I respect the homage but if I'm being honest it also sounded very dated. The production is very good to the point that it sounds like an 80's album that has been remastered at a very professional level.
Speaking of production, I have to give it to them for being able to achieve this nostalgic sound. Right down to every detail including the treatment of the vocals. The one thing that gives this album a modern edge is the stellar production. The main weapon of choice was Ableton which I think was an excellent idea for this sort of aesthetic. The album had parts coming in from all over the US and even as far as Manchester, from west coast to east coast. This album managed to cover a lot of ground and yet there is such a high level of cohesion.
Sometimes I'll get these albums and swear there really are time lords out there messing with the timelines. This album sounds like it was stolen from the past and brought to the now to re-ignite a synth invasion. Fans of those decades lost where synth was king and fog machines were never tacky will love Embrace The Fade.
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