Review: In Strict Confidence – La Parade Monstrueuse

So if you have missed new product from the Sisters of Mercy you can take solace in the latest from In Strict Confidence. One thing we enjoy about ISC is their remarkable consistency, veering from album to album in all their darkness, their sinister affectation and their oft-damn catchy darkwave electro. Their latest, La Parade Monstrueuse, is much as every hunk of work they’ve shared with us in the past. Moody, well crafted and a little pretentious. To buy into this German outfit is to accept the trappings that come with it. So much of their product seems a little forced, a little too crafted, sometimes trying a little too hard. At the same time they have brought forth kick-ass songs like “Seven Lives” or “Promised Land” from their terrific album, Exile Paradise. Bottom line: they do what they do really, really well.

Which brings us back to La Parade Monstrueuse.  Our earlier reference to Sisters of Mercy wasn’t totally in jest. Listen to “My Despair” or “One Drop” and lyrics and music both, you’ll be transported back to SoM’s heyday. Lush synths and pulsing electronic percussion bracketed by dark, extremely Teutonic vocals make this album sound like it could have come from a dozen other European darkwave bands but few do it as well as ISC. Some of the more interesting songs on the album are “Schwarzes Licht”, sung by the lovely Antje Schulz, or “Ewige Nacht”, sung in German and thus liberated by the tendency toward overcompensation that sometimes plagues the band. These songs feel a little quirkier, a little more off the beaten path than the rest of the album and are real treats.

One thing that stands out on this album in particular is their use of guitar which is used very well to add power and balls to some of the songs. “I Surrender” and particularly “This is All” are strong tracks made stronger by the almost bluesy guitar helping power the songs along. Other stand outs include “Snow White” which is both hopelessly pretentious lyrically and creative and daring musically, even weaving in a little bit-pop affectation into the choppy bridge. It’s clever stuff that transcends some of the more predictable to-ing and fro-ing we sometimes get from this band.

Not the most memorable album you’ll hear this year but a welcome one nonetheless.

Watch: “My Despair”

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One Response to “Review: In Strict Confidence – La Parade Monstrueuse”

  1. love this.. I need all text this band. a new albom.

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