DEATHDANCE: Réveiller

Many of the descriptions of DEATHDANCE touch on their dark, moody electronic sounds and Nine Inch Nails influence. Though these descriptions are accurate to a point, they fail to fully describe how cinematic and immersive their newest EP Reveíller feels. With a far reaching and ever-growing sound combined with a cinematic structure, the EP draws you into the rabbit hole of industrial and intrigue in which the familiar is changed and tweaked as each song develops.

No particular track stands out, but that only emphasizes the cohesiveness of the EP. Like a movie where scenes gain importance from their relationships to each other, each song does the same here. Reveíller launches with “Calling” and establishes its first act. Continuing through “Perfectly Lit,” the first act of the EP builds with greater and greater intensity with no end in sight. As these tracks layer sound on sound, they often begin with something musical and familiar in the background before adding other noises and instrumentation. The result is a huge, sonic experience that never quite loses its sense of musicality as it pushes the definition of music to its brink. This part of the EP comes across as more epic than the other sections, but it’s not until the end of “Perfectly Lit” that there’s a sense of some conclusion to the two songs’ buildup.

Just as the second act of a movie starts with its plot’s first hurdle and an entrance into a new world of problems, the feeling of Reveíller changes through “You Can Have It All (feat. Damiano Unique)” and “Last Gasp.” Through these songs, the volume seems to get turned down and the noises become more jarring and more trippy. Despite these alterations, vocals become more intelligible and the foundations for the songs become more familiar and close. It is at this point in the EP that we realize just how far our sense of normalcy has been expanded through the track list as what was once distant and strange has become familiar and comforting.

With a guitar with the distortion turned way down, “As If By Burning” sounds like a rock song from the mid-00s until the synths and samples really take hold. Even as they do, the unsettling familiarity of the guitar riff never lessens. Though it flows straight from the previous song seamlessly, it is obvious that Reveíller has reached a resolution in “As If By Burning.” Everything is quickened and the urgency is immediate as the strangeness of the EP so far takes over to become the new normal. It is then that “Tasted Me” makes sense as a kind of epilogic denouement of the new normal.

Though the EP builds seamlessly between tracks, there are few feelings of payoff or satisfaction in each song. Beyond there being no discernible singles that ask to be listened to more, some songs are still much weaker than others. Overall, they have an obvious feeling of suspense but never seem to really go anywhere besides to show what they can do. Normal has been changed, but it’s hard to understand for what purpose. “Tasted Me,” the final track, is much harsher than any of the songs before it and at times is more reminiscent of running relatable sounds through a sander to tear them down as opposed to building on their base. The result is an unsatisfying conclusion that leaves you feeling tricked rather than enlightened at the realization of how much sound can still be thought of as musical.

Rating: 5.9/10