Music – Ivan Prokofjev aka Tragedian
Vocals – Anna Vashchilo aka Mona Lisa Overdrive
Artwork – Augusto Peixoto
Introspective composition reflecting feelings, thoughts and memories. The music is mostly sad and even dreary sometimes. Ambient mood is supplemented with orchestral samples and vocals.
It’s cold. Snow-laden fields draw out to the horizon. He walks, hands in pockets, with a distant look in his eyes and a cigarette dangling from his mouth. Unable to recognize his surroundings, he contemplates, thinking to himself of how it all ended without warning. His mind in turmoil and his life shattered to pieces, this is the image painted by the man who calls himself Tragedian, a soundtrack for a tragic loss.
In Post-Romantic Syndrome, the listener is taken through a journey of introspection, revelation, and finally acceptance, all wrapped in deep nostalgia. It is uncanny how the progression of the tracks on the album seems to mimic exactly the flow of thoughts of a tired man’s mind. This is done through the extremely varied instrumentation in the album that ranges from the use of classical instruments such as violins, cellos, and pianos to electronica influenced beats and synths, and even a choir in the track “Stark Sails of Gravestones” for an added dramatic effect.
As aforementioned, the album follows a stream of consciousness method, and is divided into three distinct parts: contemplation, revelation, and closure or acceptance:
Contemplation: The violin driven “One-Winged Cupid” starts off the process of discovery, a mellow piece reflecting a sullen state of mind. As the album progresses, more details are given through the introduction of more instruments and the listener is able to get a clearer idea of this man’s thoughts, until it all crescendos in “I Know the Words You Will Say to Me”. Feelings of anger, longing, and melancholy are unleashed into a whirlwind of arpeggios and carry him over to revelation.
Revelation: “Transparent Eyelids” begins where its predecessor left off, and as the feelings intensify, the listener senses that something is going to happen, and it does. Midway through the track, industrial beats come into play and epiphany is at hand. He’s hit a chord and found what he was looking for; rage brews up inside and by the end of the track you’re left with chills. This is the pivotal track in the album, and by far the best. Scythelence finally show the ability to craft an extremely heart wrenching song that leaves the door open for the final stage of the journey.
Closure: After a short pause, the two final tracks give a slight feeling of hope and the album ends on the same note it started with, however, this time it’s more cheerful. The journey comes to a close and the listener is finally able to give a breath of relief.
All in all, this is a very powerful album. However, it’s very limited in terms of composition. It may be argued that this limitation is due to the fact that this is a concept album of some sorts, but it could have been better developed. Scythelence’s music could be compared to that of ambient act Aesthesys, however, with less experimentation.
P.S Word for the wise, avoid Post-Romantic Syndrome completely if you’ve just ended a relationship because you’ll probably end up killing yourself halfway through the album.
by Mohammed Ashraf of The Silent Ballet