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-ii- Extinction

by François Zappa

Extinction is the first full album of French witchwave band –ii– (pronounced Two Eyes) and is the result of a musical adventure that started three years ago (or four as we are already in 2022). In this time, they have released a first EP, Lighthouse, and some singles we have already reviewed here. You can buy and listen to Extinction on their Bandcamp, but there is also a CD edition you can order directly from the band.

This first album by –ii– was released on March 2021, but we have been so busy last year that until now, we could not find any spare time to review this fantastic work. In Extinction, we can find eight new tracks and “The Rings of Saturn,” a single that, as I said before, we already reviewed some time ago here at El Garaje. Their music is a mix of dark pop and coldwave with some industrial and post-rock touches. As influences, we could name bands like NIN, Chelsea Wolfe and Health.

In the first track, “Tenebrism,” Hélène sings “take a trip in the dark”, inviting us to this passionate and dark trip. The song keeps growing in intensity as the band describe a work of the Tenebrism style of painting of, I guess, Caravaggio. “The Rings of Saturn” is a great disturbing track with a very catchy chorus. In “Void”, the contrast between the sweet and at the same time full of mystery voice of Hélène contrasts with the darkness of the track, maybe the one with a sound closer to NIN’s. “Flesh” shows that industrial music can also sound sensual. Benjamin, the second main member of the band, creates some wonderfully desolated industrial atmospheres through all the album. This, together with Hélène beautiful voices are two of the strongest points of the album.

“Slave” is, as the name tells us, a song about domination sang powerfully by Hélène and one of the best tracks of the album. “Fire in The Street” is an intense track that tells a scary story happening in the United States. In “November Skirt,” we would like to point out the sharp and noisy guitars. The album comes to an end with the dark prayer “Purify” and the solemn “Zero Day,” both with really interesting lyrics.

Extinction is an album that should please most of our readers. It also shows there are still some unexplored paths in dark music. Luckily –ii– are helping us discover them.

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