Nucleus Torn

Album Title: 
Street Lights Fail
Release Date: 
Friday, August 15, 2014
Review Type: 

Nucleus Torn are the main project by Fredy Schnyder, who each time works with several guest and session musicians to create his musical journeys. This time is no difference, with Anna Murphy doing the vocals once again (she is known from Eluveitie, Lethe, godnr.universe! and others). Remarkable fact: on this album she’s the sole singer.

In the past, Nucleus Torn released several albums, often as part of a concept (like the trilogy Nihil / Knell / Andromeda Awaiting). This time too the record deals with a multiple-pieced concept. Street Lights Fail is the first part, and will be completed next year by Neon Lights Eternal. Street Lights Fail consists of three songs only, but it lasts for almost forty minutes.

The opening song, called - (indeed, nothing but a hyphen), gives a good view on another vision by Nucleus Torn. It all starts very sober with a floating sound, then followed after about forty seconds by a sad, melancholic piano tune, finally joined by spoken words, the integer way, by Anna. Next she starts to sing too, and the whole experience transforms in another direction. Clavichord-alike melodies, heavy piano touches and progressive drum patterns, in combination with the hypnotic voice of Anna, create an atmosphere feeble and delicate, and the soberness of the first half of the song returns towards the end, making this first track a rather mysterious and somewhat Neo-Classical inspired Alternative song. Worms, the next track, immediately shows another side once again, with heavy guitar riffs, pounding drums and pushing bass rhythms. But here too, after about one minute, there is a hallucinative piano intermezzo. But then that Rock pattern returns, now joined by the skilled voice of Anna once again. And this goes on, i.e. another angle, another aspect, each single minute, over and over again. Worms clocks nearly twenty minutes, and it is a true experience that needs perseverance and endurance. Introspective, melancholic and / or sober moments interact with rocking pieces, mingling Avant-garde, Traditional Metal, Folk, Ambient, Neo-Classical, Indie, Post-Rock, Gothic, Horror, Alternative, Doom and Prog in order to reach a state of high-levelled artificial / artistic creativity. It should make sense, but I miss a cohesive overview. It’s like a hand full of great ideas being worked out and put together, yet without creating s mutual structure, I think. But I need to say that this song has a grandiose finale! The Promise Of Night, finally (the third and last composition on Street Lights Fail), lasts for twelve minutes and starts very bald and naked, just like the opening song, but this empty introduction lasts much longer. It takes several minutes before a piano tune perks up the funeral party, and it isn’t but as from half of the song that vocals finally set in. And with exception of a small heavier excerpt, the general tune of this song is very deeply sober once again. This band’s qualities: expertise, creativity, bravery and the readiness to fail