The Palace of Tears’ very first album, Of Ruination offers an astonishing dreamlike journey through darkwave with its ethereal soundscapes. Behind the project are Leah Darkling and Erick Scheid. Their music reflects their different artistic backgrounds, a clever mix between performing arts and musical genres such as shoegaze, post-punk or gothic rock. Of Ruination is available since October 31, 2020 in CD format.
One could see this album as a masterpiece where each track adds its own colors and textures, where the contours of forms that seem familiar to us fade or become more precise. The first track, “Terra Ephemera,” is like a sketch that takes shape as we go along. Noise and breathing sounds are enhanced by notes and then by harmony. The percussions give an esoteric color palette to the title. “Thy Womb Full of Black Nectar” places us in an atmosphere that fills the sound space where reverberation plays a big role. Leah’s voice mixes with this atmosphere. —Its lyricism gives amplitude to the chords and opens them more, all of it enhanced by an interesting play of discrepancy between the singing and a counterpoint on the synthesizer. In the last moments of the song, an impression of liturgy emerges from this voice. “Masque L’Intrigue” offers other sounds, another atmosphere from which a rhythmic loop emerges. The delay effects used on certain instruments and the voice, especially on the whistling consonants create a certain sluggishness, an elasticity to the music. “Tears of the Moon” offers a striking contrast between different materials, the harshness of what seems to be an electric guitar opposed to the softness of the human voice. “Cold Dead Skin” shakes up the general energy of the album with a more sustained tempo. We find a similar ambiance to the first track in “Shadows of Whispering Phantoms.” Here, the singing intones a melody resembling an incantation that brings more “fantastic” colors. Finally, “Of Ruination,” seventh and last track of the album, builds a wall of electric sound that tears the surrounding space and on which a soft and lyrical song is always in the air.
The Palace of Tears’ first album undoubtedly has a strange beauty that places the listener at the heart of a musical painting whose color chart remains in dark hues. Although its colors may sometimes look a little too similar, Of Ruination certainly offers a haunting and sensual sound journey that we highly recommend that you discover.
Translation: Joanne Gagnon