by Nicolas, Recycle Your Ears
"Apparitions" is the first release from the band Remanence. Re-release of a previous demo of the band, it's also the first one on which this american duo use their new band name, giving up the name of "Arcana", already taken by a famous oher neoclassical Swedish act.
"Apparitions" is a conceptual record, focusing on the theme of ghosts and spirits of the deceased coomunicating with the living. The booklet cover, amazing, as the texts taken from various psychology reviews, deals with this topic. The music, very calm and filled with melancholia, fits very well this theme. Very slow soundscapes overlayed by fine piano melodies and some drumming constitute the basis of Remanence's music. The mood invite you to think of these old black and white postcards from the beginning of the century, or of some forgotten relics from a dead relative, kept somewhere safe and dusty.
The tracks of the CD, even if they all basically have the same rhythms, differs in the instrument used. Synthetic tunes are present throught the record, but a bass or some real drumming bring some variations on some songs, like the Changelings-like "Violence in Chinatown".
It is obvious that this band has been influenced by Dead Can Dance and In The Nursery, but Remanence manages to writes some very fine music, which deserves that anybody in this scene pay them attention. Their piano lines are among the finest (for example on the sad "Be careful what you wish for", my favorite song of the CD), and their use of stranges samples (probably from some experiment with ghosts) give a very pleasant mood to the whole.