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eMolecule: The Architect

Has it already been eleven years since Sound Of Contact released their one and only album Dimensionaut? That is rather hard to believe since it seems like only yesterday I discovered that little slice of heaven. The players have all went on to different projects including Collins with his solo work. The duo, Simon Collins and Kelly Nordstrom, first met in 2005, well before Sound Of Contact, with Nordstrom helping Collins on his excellent 2008 release U-Catastrophe. Nordstrom also helped Collins on his last solo album Becoming Human, released in 2020, with part of those sessions spawning this latest collaboration. Both musicians exude confidence in their craft nullifying the need for any other artists. Collins (vocals, drums, keyboards, sound design, programming) and Nordstrom (guitars, keyboards, bass, sound design, programming, vocals) have put together an extremely interesting and rather excellent album with The Architect.

This is a concept album pertaining to the darkness that can take hold in one’s life, a take on good versus evil. The main character chooses a dark path, one of pure evil, and eventually reassesses his life after he receives news of a terminal illness. The album denotes his life’s journey. The music as such is quite dark, but there is some light that unfolds in the album’s second half.

The disc begins with the epic “Emolecule”, a near eleven minute ride through the dark recesses of the album’s main character. This tune exudes atmosphere, the slow build of electronics and Nordstrom’s moody fretwork leading towards Simon’s powerhouse drumming (a chip off the old block you might say) and bold guitar riffs, teetering on the edge of progressive metal. It’s a dark and heavy track, the heavier parts made even more impactful by the textured atmospherics. The title track is a modern sounding rocker featuring ultra tight musicianship, crisp guitar riffs, slightly enhanced lead vocals, and darkly lit spoken word from Nordstrom. The echo effects add to the tune’s dark hues and disturbing subject matter. On “Prison Planet”, a moody soundscape of atmospheric programming slowly evolves into heavy riffs and a catchy chorus. Just an excellent vocal from Collins. “Mastermind” begins with dark sounding electronics and keys, the guitar riffs slow and heavy and the lead vocals slightly acerbic, revealing the disturbing inner darkness as told in the lyrics. Yet, even then, the album reveals its catchiness. “Dosed” is a straight forward rocker with some of the heaviest guitar on the disc, followed by “The Turn” where cool programming and piano is mixed with dense stabs of guitar and disturbing vocals, revealing more shades of darkness. However, light is beginning to show as our character wants to find another way. This is revealed on the next track “Awaken”, as the music has a softer edge while still retaining lots of atmosphere and manipulated soundscapes. I love how these musicians have melded electronics and cool sound designs into their progressive minded music.

With over seventy minutes of music there is a lot here to absorb, and I suggest you do just that as this will require some time to settle in your head. The Architect is just a superb album that gets better and better with each successive listen. Highly recommended!

An InsideOutMusic release.

Track Listing:
1. Emolecule (10:43)
2. The Architect (6:05)
3. Prison Planet (4:59)
4. Mastermind (8:39)
5. Dosed (5:08)
6. The Turn (5:57)
7. Awaken (5:09)
8. Beyond Belief (4:47)
9. The Universal (6:03)
10. My You (5:28)
11. Moment Of Truth (6:56)

Added: February 17th 2024
Reviewer: Jon Neudorf
Related Link: Band @ Bandcamp
Hits: 449
Language: english

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