Messiah Complex

Temple of Venus
Release Date
2012
Review also published in English and Polish on AlterNation.pl

When I got the new album Messiah Complex by Temple of Venus and read that they are a new wave band from Italy, I was excited. Lately I only received good stuff from there (I think e.g. of the recent record by Christine Plays Viola, a band that found its way to my Olympus of great music).

Temple of Venus added to my hypothesis that new wave from Italy does not fail. This group is full of creativity, bears the right amount of "dark".

Track one, 'Across the Stars', reveals the sound Messiah Complex is heading towards. Synth melodies, echoing guitars, vocals, which seem to come out from the vortex. Danceable music, which could be the hit at your next wave party. Almost eight minutes of simply great music come out of my speakers – but this is only the beginning.

'Hide and Seek' (how many bands do have a song with that name?) takes it in comparison to its predecessor a little bit slower and sound almost like an anthem for something. A solid piece of music, rounded up by distorted guitars and several effects.

If you are already caught in some dream world you can stay there – the next track is 'Goodnight'. This one comes in a more down-tempo costume, because of its heartbeat rhythm I would even compare it to trip-hop.

A highlight on Messiah Complex is, for sure, the fourth track, entitled 'Sugar Sandman'. Presumably, the legendary The Frozen Autumn, also from Italy, had an impact on Temple of Venus' style.

'Anything Inside Me' has some great epic moments, which have the same cathartic effects on me like the old-school stuff by Clan of Xymox. Definitely a darkwave song and the fastest on the album is 'Hey Stranger'. I would love to have this track played in a club with some dancefloor. 'Metropolitan' is a classy new wave song, though on this album it turned out to become my least favourite. However, one has to be. 'Love's a Drug You Can't Heal From' - not just the title of this song is interesting. Maybe it is the most accessible track on the record in discussion. The instrumentation and the vocals provide a brighter atmosphere than the other pieces, and could easily become a hit.

The album finishes with 'Tonight Can Be Done'. At the first listen it seems to be a song influenced by future pop, on the second it is more reminiscent of Xymox' 'What's Going On?'.

Italy seems to have the monopoly on good contemporary wave music. While the rest of Europe concentrates on making the cybergoths happy with a huge quantity of exchangeable "harsh" songs, there are still old-school nostalgics, who try to revive the spirit and the sound of the 80's, but not without adding something new. New wave's not dead!


Tracklist:

01. Across the Stars
02. Hide & Seek
03. Goodnight
04. Sugar Sandman
05. Anything Inside Me
06. Hey Stranger
07. Metropolitan
08. Love's A Thing You Can't Heal From
09. Tonight Can Be Done

About André Savetier

Since 2011 André Savetier is actively working as a music journalist with an expertise on contemporary new wave music phenomena.
His scientific specialization is anthropology of music and anthropology of popular culture. Savetier remains intrigued by the interplay between the aforementioned social phenomena, the told (and untold) legends of music and its roots.

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