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Chemical Waves – When We Were Full of Hope

by François Zappa

Italian darkwave/coldwave project Chemical Waves is releasing a new album next week, entitled When We Were Full of Hope, already the fourth album that we review here at El Garaje since that Even When We Fall Apart that we liked very much. Chemical Waves is the brainchild of Marco Cattani. He has proved so far to have a great taste and vision in choosing his collaborators as he has worked with really interesting names such as HIV+, The Sea At Midnight, Gerd Van Geel from The Arch or Velvet Kills. Also, thanks to his records, I listened for the first time to Bedless Bones, one of  my “discoveries” of the latest years. In this new album, he has looked to the Bosporus for new talent, and found two artists already familiar to our readers, Ductape and Rain To Rust. From Monday 4th April, When We Were Full of Hope will be available at the own artist’s Bandcamp page.

The album starts with an instrumental, in a lovely and solemn way, like in the previous Lasting Forever. “Happened in a desperate night” is an atmospheric intro that will help you immerse in the album. The first collaboration is with French coldwave duo Lovataraxx, ex-colleagues of Chemical Waves in the Unknown Pleasures label. During “In need of the Marquee Square” we find an interesting play of the voices of both members of the duo, sharp guitars and a lot of darkness. Turkish Rain To Rust, a post-punk project, sings in one of the catchiest and also one of my favorite tracks of the album. I would like to recommend also his own material, really worth it. From Oslo, Mirror of Haze, is a post-punk act that features in a slow and atmospheric track with some really good guitar playing by Marco. Ductape were playing last month in Madrid and we can find them here playing in the track “Kara Büyü” where their Turkish roots are more present than ever. Definitely one of the best songs of the record. South Carolina-based Tenderlash stand out with an ethereal track, with a very beautiful voice. The album is perfectly sequenced and the Ductape‘s tracks works perfectly together to this dreamy composition. Like both previous artists, Broken Nails, Kim Bell’s synth pop project, is also part of the Swiss Dark Nights label. Kim’s beautiful voice really takes me to the 80s, and the composition where she sings is another sample of Marco’s talent. 

Night Nail is part of the Cold Transmission family and we published a review of their second album a few months ago. Here, they play in the most solemn track of the album, like a “New Dawn Fades”, sang with passion. And we arrive to a new instrumental, this time an emotive one, “The Last Wish Left” that gets us ready for the last songs of the album. I could not find any info of Pleasure Policy but the powerful track where he features is adorned with his deep voice and some sharp guitars played by Marco. This more classic Goth rock track is also one of the most memorable of the album. Rina Pavar, comes from Germany and usually she is into minimal synth/electro but here she stars in a more darkwave song, disturbing and sexual at the same time. Ukranian Sexual Purity are the last guests with more darkwave with powerful synths. The album comes to an end with a disturbing instrumental.

When We Were Full of Hope shares the same qualities as the previous works by Chemical Waves: good compositions and a variety produced by the diversity of guests. And at the same time, it’s a great way of discovering some artists that could have passed unnoticed before. In this new album, I would particularly point out the great guitar work, just perfect for each occasion. Definitely, another great step in the career of the Italian artist. 

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