Violens- True

By Chris Dahlberg

Published on Sunday, May 20, 2012

Violens is a band that tries to do many different things. While some groups go for dreamy shoegaze or angular post punk, these guys go in several different directions on their sophomore album True. One moment they might settle into a reverb drenched haze, while the next things have taken a noisy turn. This provides a bit more variety than listeners might expect from a band of this nature, and while the songs do feel a bit inconsistent at times when the instrumentalists are on point the results are absolutely mesmerizing.

The instrumentalists definitely chose to start True off in a way that would hook listeners immediately, as the opening track “Der Microarc” has a dreamy melody that works perfectly. From there the riffs keep their softness, alternating between some of the more angular moments associated with post punk and traditional guitar pop. But about halfway in Violens suddenly gets a lot louder, and songs such as “All night Low” break away from the dreamy haze and introduce faster, hard hitting melodies. The result of this change in direction is that the band has a bit more variety than many of their peers, and they don’t repeat the same thing for an entire album. But at the same time, for every song that really sinks its hooks in you and keeps you coming back there are a few that come and go without truly making an impact. Violens does seem to be getting stronger as songwriters though, as when their melodies soar they are incredible but they aren’t able to pull it off on every track just yet.

All three members of Violens contribute vocals, but Jorge Elbrecht takes the lead role throughout the course of the album. Elbrecht has the type of voice that is perfectly suited for the band’s style, as he has a mellow pitch that reverberates over the instrumentals and steals the spotlight quite frequently. The other two members provide back-up vocals in a way that creates dreamy harmonies that have the same haziness as the rest of the material, and this is sure to hook quite a few people. At times the vocals are reminiscent of a traditional pop band such as Air due to just how light the singing is, and I think this is one of the main reasons this album found regular rotation in my collection.

Despite the fact that not every song has the same level of hook, Violens does have enough memorable moments to make True worth a recommendation. But like so many other groups of this type, I get the impression that these guys have even more untapped potential and could truly produce a release that is stunning from start to finish. They do seem to be growing at a considerable rate with each album though, so I am confident that Violens will be a band that is worth continuing to follow in the years to come.

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