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Vukovar – The Body Abdicator

Another mysterious masterpiece from the triptych Eternity Ends Here.

by François Zappa

Vukovar fans are in luck: The Body Abdicator is another little masterpiece from the band that has given us so much joy. They know they are not the easiest band on the planet, and that’s part of their charm, but on this new album they have again to that ability to make us fall in love with their music that they had on Cremator. Plus, to make things less complicated, Oher Voices now ship from Austria, so we won’t have to wait so long for their albums to arrive at our homes.

The Body Abdicator is the third part of the triptych Eternity Ends Here, dedicated to the memory of Sam Morris, which is completed with The Colossalist and The Great Immurement, two albums that we recommended at the time. At the controls we once again have, along with the band, Phil Reynolds, guaranteeing that the album will sound as it should. What will follow next? Only the mysterious band can tell.

“Little Deaths/Little Lights” begins with Gea Philes’ sweet voice as if she was lost in another dimension, but when the song kicks in we find one of the band’s poppiest compositions, rather less mournful than expected for an album with this theme. A great beginning that still sounds like Vukovar but I find them a bit more accessible. On the other hand, “Empting Tide” is another mysterious and dreamlike wonder, a conversation with another world. “Whatever comes next will be better” shouts the voice and for a moment we don’t doubt it. We continue on the same vibe with “Thoughtstream”, which sounds like you’ve tuned in to the radio of a desolate, industrial and depressing world and from there the sound comes to us with interference. “The Sheltering Sky” is a more conventional yet desolate track, with a rather minimalist structure that takes on a terrifying prominence at times.

We continue with “Who Is The One Who Is Living Me Now?”, which doesn’t need much to be another sample of the band’s compositional mastery: an aching voice, a keyboard and some noise build a surprising track. “This Will Absolve” sounds like synthpop from another dimension, with some sweetness, but very dark and noisy. Another of the album’s great moments. We continue with “Place to Rest”, which reminds us a bit of the vitality of New Order songs and shows that they know how to write good pop songs. On the other hand, “St. Malthus In Fields Of Frost Flowers” is a somewhat more atmospheric and experimental track, with layers of sound and spoken word that become a beautiful song duirng the last three minutes. We end with a cover of The Associates‘ “Those First Impressions” without the melodrama of the original and turned into a strange, dreamlike, desolate, sad and otherworldly track that again features Gea Philes, bringing us back to the beginning of the album.

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