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Ardours – Anatomy Of A Moment Award winner

Ardours
Anatomy Of A Moment
by Thomas Kumke at 26 September 2022, 5:30 AM

ARDOURS were formed by the last TRISTANIA vocalist Mariangela Demurtas and multi-instrumentalist Kris Laurent in 2015. The Sardinian duo play Gothic Metal with a strong influence of the 80s. After releasing the debut full-length album in 2019 and an EP in 2020, “Anatomy Of A Moment” was produced and mixed by Kris Laurent at the Rrooaarr Sound Studio. The album has a length of about 47 minutes, and it was released via Italian label Frontiers Music, which is specialized in Heavy, Power, and Progressive Metal. Compared to the debut album “Last Place On Earth”, ARDOURS went for consistency. Kris Laurent acted as the main song writer and composer for the album and Mariangela Demurtas had support in the lyric writing by Tarald Lie (TRISTANIA), who already played the drums on “Last Place On Earth”. The only notable change is the contribution of Hugo Ribeiro, who is the drummer on the new album.

The album starts with “Epitaph For A Spark” and it starts with an electronic intro paving the way for a melancholic melodic framework by the guitars, bass, and drums, which is soon superimposed by the trademark vocals of Mariangela Demurtas. Her vocals follow the melodies and are the focal point of the track. The vocal melody of the chorus part is catchy, almost anthemic and makes “Epitaph For A Spark” to a great opener. If there is anything to criticize, then that the electronic parts are slightly too dominant and might have been more effective further in the background. The ARDOURS sound always has a lot of 80s vibes and if there was evidence needed, the riffs of “Insomniac” proof just that. The song is a journey back to the Gothic times of the mid-80s and the vocals fit excellently to that sound. It is even more, Mariangela Demurtas perfectly transport the emotions and vibes to the listener.

Identified” continues with the melancholic mood, but it is more dynamic and comes with more tempo. There are a few changes in rhythm, and it comes with more dominant keyboard contribution. Highlight is the lead guitar solo that contributes very well to the track. “Secret Worlds” is a song in a measured tempo with a guitar driven sound. As in many songs, the Gothic inspirations from the 80s are written all over it in particular during the verse sections. The lead guitar solo is second to none and the vocal melodies of the chorus is almost a sing-along. There is a rare occasion of Mariangela singing the final chorus part with a very highly pitched voice. “Cold Revenge” starts ballad-esque with the keyboards and the vocals, before the guitars gently join in. The first part of the track is building up atmosphere, which is maintained after the transition into a more powerful, riff dominated track.

Given” starts with electronic effects and the keyboards. While the verse parts are more keyboard dominated, the verse parts are guitar driven with the keys in the background. Mariangela keeps the sound perfectly together with her vocals. Altogether, “Given” is one the only song, which cannot keep up with the other tracks on the album. The title song builds slowly a melancholic atmosphere predominantly using the keyboards and the drums, before the guitars join in. The vocals take over the lead and guide the instruments through the track. As the track goes on, the guitars and the vocals become more dominant and are on top of the track. “Anatomy Of A Moment” is a good example of excellent songwriting and all instrumental elements including the vocals work perfectly together. The song is the official video release, and the YouTube link is given below.

As the title track was more of a dynamic mid-tempo song, “Dead Weight” is more a bit of a Gothic ballad. Played at a measured tempo, yet very powerful and with an outstanding vocalist driving the song forward. “Dead Weight” is all about the vocals and it shows why Mariangela Demurtas is such excellent singer. Songs like “Dead Weight” are suited perfectly to her vocal strengths. “Unannounced” starts quiet with the keyboards, the basslines, and the vocals. It is in principle a continuation of “Dead Weight” in terms of the melancholy and the overall sound, with the guitars becoming more and more dominant as the track goes on. Focal point are again the vocals. “Unannounced” and “Dead Weight” are among the album highlights. The album finishes strongly with “Chasing Whispers”. It is a classical ARDOURS song and a perfect example of the trademark Gothic Metal sound of the band. The song is more driven by the guitars and bass with less contribution by the keyboards. The vocals carry the melodies perfectly in harmony with the instruments. Despite the end of the song came abrupt, a strong way to finish the album.

ARDOURS release an excellent Gothic Metal album and establish their very own signature sound further. “Anatomy Of A Moment” is a mix of modern Gothic sound and sound elements of the 80s. This symbiosis is possible due to excellent songwriting and the outstanding vocal qualities of singer Mariangela Demurtas. The music is perfectly composed towards her vocal strengths: the versatility ranging from being powerful towards fragility to interpret the melancholic elements perfectly. In addition to that, her ability of transporting emotions to the listener is an extra asset to the ARDOURS sound. The album is very well produced. “Anatomy Of A Moment” sets the bar very high and the album belongs into the collection of every Gothic Rock and Metal fan.

Songwriting: 9
Musicianship: 9
Memorability: 10
Production: 9

4 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Epitaph For A Spark
2. Insomniac
3. Identified
4. Secret Worlds
5. Cold Revenge
6. Given
7. Anatomy Of A Moment
8. Dead Weight
9. Unannounced
10. Chasing Whispers
Lineup:
Mariangela Demurtas – Vocals
Kris Laurent – Guitars, Bass, Keyboards
Hugo Ribeiro – Drums
Record Label: Frontiers Music
     


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