Having discovered Evi Vine at the top of the year, her new album ‘Black Light White Dark’ is everything a Chelsea Wolfe or Emma Ruth Rundle fan would love. This is extremely dark and claustrophobic rock at its deepest and most snake skinned.
Although the album is only six tracks long, it still clocks in at 40 minutes in length and Evi Vine takes her time to build up the dread, suspense and aggression with most of her tracks. Nowhere is it tauter than the opener ‘I Am The Waves’. It sways between minor chords like a snake coiling around you – refusing to break out into fury but keeping you entirely on edge. ‘Afterlight’ switches up that rage a little further bringing rolling drums and a bass guitar fuzz growl that seeps in and out. It feels like at any moment it’s about to explode into rage and that’s accentuated by the reversed percussion and vocal samples that snap guitars and sounds on and off again. This tension releases itself in a glorious nine-minute darkwave anthem called ‘Sabbath’. The guitars pop and roar around power chords and bending notes – verging on shoegaze styles of noise. It feels so cathartic and rewarding to hit the high and release all that power in an impactful punch.
As if to recover from that high ‘My Only Son’ brings us a moment of solace with a beautiful ghostly piano and string led ballad. Evi’s voice is often hushed and coy throughout the album and it often feels like it’s calling to you like a concentrated siren through the noise. Here it is alluring, wounded but full of love. ‘We Are Made of Stars’ then moves into the industrial ambient scene. Guitar feedback hums, meshes of screaming distance backing vocals and apocalypse like industrial noise fills the speakers. It’s a dark mood piece that feels like a hell factory churning underground. It cleanses you for the closing epic rock track ‘Sad Song #9’ that holds sadness and plodding despair with equal darkness. It’s a great closing track that fades to into an ambient grizzle. Whilst not quite reaching the fierceness of Sabbath earlier, this too completes a wave of feeling with an explosion of guitars that fade to dust.
Evi Vine has created an excellent album that is full of surprises with ‘Black Light White Dark’. Whilst she is not going to win prizes for chord complexity, she wins your mind and soul with the moods and feelings she evokes and the shroud she brings with her. Evi holds sultry oppression like no other and that’s the key to this albums clear success.
Recommended track: I Am The Waves
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