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Darksynth EP Review: "Alchemy Calls" by La Mverte

Karl is a longtime freelancer who's passionate about music, art, and writing.


La Mverte’s Alchemy Calls is a seething, shadowed and ferocious journey through mystery and transformation. It is full of demonic power, surging energy and long tendrils of reaching darkness.

"NIGREDO" is a musical reflection of loss and empty feelings. Tense, deeply resonant synth throbs joined by solidly thumping, stuttering drums to add a propulsive beat are cut into by distorted, very nervous synth flashes. The reverberating, shadowy synth pattern moves and the beat thumps hard, sliced by elevated, twisted notes.

JC Couderc’s threatening, icy vocals carry the lyrics while an agitated, medium-high synth shivers. The distorted, heavy sounds break as an anxious synth pulsation repeats over the heaving sonic underpinnings. High synth drifts through and there’s a break into a heavy bass oscillation and solid, strong drums. The dark, frozen vocals move over the beat and there’s a return to the driven, shadowy bass pattern and strong drums. Bright, brittle notes flash into the music as it draws to a close over the unrelenting beat.

This song’s message is poetic and desolate. It asks, “What did you do with the one you should have been?” The words speak of going unseen from his house “where all things quiet be” on an “obscure night” as he was “fevered with love’s anxiety.”

A stentorian voice that warns “it is neither religious nor wise to judge that of what you know nothing” is joined by an evenly throbbing bassline to open “ALBEDO.” There’s the feeling of a dark void in the bass as a metallic, sliding drumbeat moves with the evilly surging voice. More percussion elements are introduced while the steady dark drone goes on over the bursting beat, pushing the music forward. A slowly undulating, minor key pattern of tightly wound metallic synth moves through.

A medium-high sonic pulse raises the tension while the misty, elevated synth pattern continues over bursting drums.The twisting vocal sample moves with subtle washes of shadowed sound. An additional layer of percussion adds more power and direction, pressing the song onward. Medium-low, mechanical sounding synth creates an insistent pulse below minor key sonic undulations. The track enters a more swirling, airy segment where minor key notes wrap around one another, creating a feeling of dread.

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“RUBEDO” comes to life with harshly thudding bass that reverberates through the track along with choral voices climbing in a dark line. The drums are hollow and battering over the aggressive bass as a jagged, shattering sonic pulse shifts with the choir. Bass throb is joined by a funky melodic line, richly varied percussion and big orchestra hits. The beat and bass are insistent as an agitated, repeating synth line trembles in fear. There’s a rich variety to the hollow percussion’s timbres as an oscillating, harshly bright synth line moves while the percussion keeps throbbing.

The track fades to a quickly trembling line and after a big orchestra hit, there’s a drum fill and the beat moves again. A rapid volley of patterned synth cries out high over the sliding, pounding percussion and solid bass thud. As the song progresses, the varied percussion moves under the undulating, tense synth that flows through it. Silence briefly falls before the twisting, elevated synth trembles again. The track moves to lush percussion, the deep drumbeat and bass and flashing orchestra hits before it closes.

© 2021 Karl Magi

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