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Beneath the Serene
Release Date: March 4, 2016
Beneath the Serene is Mercury’s Antennae’s first release as a trio and helps the band more thoroughly explore the dark forests of The Cure and the Cocteau Twins without leaving their own uniquely ethereal sound behind. In addition to the band, the album also features contributions from Ingrid Blue (Trance to the Sun), Summer Bowman (Mirabillis, the Machine in the Garden), and Neil McKay (Autumn). It’s been awhile since I have delved into the world of Projekt Records but one listen to Beneath the Serene reminds me how much I have missed this genre.
The album opens with the neo-classical “Le Spectre Concubine,” which sets the mood for what is to come. It slowly, and literally, blows in the keyboards and samples before the drum machine echoes into “Ivy Tree Shore.” This song may, in fact, be my favorite track of 2016 so far. The haunting, gentle female vocals that float atop the droning drum machine and fluid bass are a truly gorgeous combination. It reminds me a bit of the more ethereal sounding aspects of The Gathering. The more expansive “Into Lost and Away” has that same fluid aspect to it but it’s plodding rhythm and faster tempo make it undeniably enjoyable. In my opinion, “Silivren” is another highlight as well. It features beautiful acoustic guitars enhanced by soft keyboard and sample work. It’s absolutely mesmerizing in its simplicity.
Beneath the Serene is a very somber album and the songs are so well-crafted that you’d be crazy not to give it a chance. It’s one of those albums that, as the title suggests, prompts you to reflect on life’s unanswerable questions. It’s far from background music and perhaps best suited to the midnight hour through a set of quality headphones. It’s an album that is both tranquil and inspiring and an excellent addition to the Projekt Records catalog.
Reviewed by mark1340