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Assassun – Sunset Skull

by François Zappa

Last week, I was talking with Carlos Volte, founder member of Spanish industrial duo Asseptic Room and he told me that at the moment, he was recording as much as possible as nobody knows how long inspiration is going to last. So I guess Alexander Donat, the man behind Assassun must share the same philosophy. We were still recovering from the rollercoaster of an album that was Vlimmer‘s first full length and now he is back with this new project Assassun. This time he has not needed 18 EPs before recording the first album, just one entitled “The World I leave” that settled the tone for this new musical universe. Sunset Skull is available on cassette, CD and digital download and has been released by Blackjack Illuminist.

The first album by Assassun is, like previous works by Alexander Donat, a box full of surprises: every song takes you through a myriad of different paths, most of them unexplored before. To get bored is not an option here. In this occasion, the music can be defined as something in the darksynth/darkwave field, with touches of EBM and post punk, always with a very Lo-Fi production and this time, singing in English.

Sunset Skull commences in a spectacular way with “Burial Shroud” where the verse is more powerful than the chorus, creating a strange sensation. In “Winter” Alexander’s way of singing reminds me, somehow of Girl Against Boys although the track, thanks to the original use of electronics, takes me back to the late 70s and the lack of prejudices of bands like Flying Lizards. “Devours Itselt” has a more 80s vibe with a funky bass, but with all the distortion that Alexander Donat puts in his music. “Over again” is a slower track with a beautiful melody and a felt interpretation of Alexander. “Your Scheme?” is something between industrial and oriental with a cheeky singing. “The World I will leave” proves again the capacity of Assassun for delivering disturbing synthpop tracks. In “Janine”, the synths really stand out in this original song. But if we talk about being original, “Hook to the Chin” is the strangest and the most different of all the songs, and one of the best too. “Achilles Tendon” is, instead quite a straight track, retro and futurist at the same time. More distorted sounds welcome us in “Light Comes Out”, a track that has a instrumental second part more electro. The album comes to an end with  “I Need it Gone” a more atmospheric track that finishes when you don’t expect it.

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