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Remina – Strata

by Dave "That Metal Guy" Campbell at 20 October 2022, 3:21 PM

From Bandcamp, “Strata’s” songs and themes are heavily inspired by some of our favorite sci-fi like Tsutomu Nihei's 'Blame!', the series/books of 'The Expanse', and the film 'Sunshine'; all of which have tracks directly related to them.” The album contains seven songs. “Aeon Rains” is the first. The opening tones are mostly electronica, in a solemn offering, with clean, sultry female vocals. She barely opens her lips to let out the notes. This song is catchy in a desolate sort of way. After the half-way mark, a heavier riff drops and takes the song to completion.

“Obsidian” is a smooth and glassy piece of volcanic rock, that you can almost see through…mysterious and eye-catching. The song with the same name is also a mellow offering with enough weight to satisfy your craving for something burdensome. She cries out with the slightest whisper. Why do we as humans take pleasure in the suffering of others? “Dying Sun” is the death of all life, when you think about it, and I can’t imagine a more magnanimous song title. Heike finally lets loose a bit in the vocals, but the soft, low tones are just as effective in carrying the despondent feeling as shouting can be. The harmonies are so fragile, you could break them just by picking them up.

“Icarus Signal” is another slow moving song that drips with unadulterated emotion. Like KATATONIA, it’s rather amazing how light and ethereal the music can be, and also how dark and heavy in a way. Much of the sound is carried by smooth synths. “The Endless City” could be a testament to how one feels surrounded by millions of people all their life. It is possible to feel completely lonely in a city full of people. So, you lament and withdraw even further. The doldrums start to settle in and you go about your hopeless life with as much enthusiasm as a cat sleeping through most of their day.

“Ilos” is a shorter song that touches your soul. Heike’s vocals are so ethereal that their stark beauty digs deep and caresses you like a familiar lover, wrapping you in warmth. “Back in Time” closes the album. Delicate melodies open the song, which reminds me of thin tree branches wrapped in a coating of winter ice. One flick, and it all comes apart. Hope is sustained in the coming of spring, which will always come, despite the harshest winter that precedes it. For if we don’t have hope, then what do we have? I can see why they call themselves “cosmic doom” on their Facebook page. REMINA’s brand of Doom is half-rooted somewhere on earth, and the other half seeded somewhere in the great cosmos of stars. The best part of the album are the lovely vocals. They are both stirring and heartbreaking. The music is also thought-provoking in many ways…as clever as a fox and as deadly as an asp.

Songwriting: 8
Musicianship: 8
Memorability: 8
Production: 9

4 Star Rating

1. Aeon Rains
2. Obsidian
3. Dying Sun
4. Icarus Signal
5. The Endless City
6. Ilos
7. Back in Time
Heike Langhans - Vocals, Lyrics & Synth
Mike Lamb – Guitar, Drums, Bass & Synth
Record Label: Avantgarde Music


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