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Spiritual Front - Black Hearts in Black Suits

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Black Hearts in Black Suits is an exceptional album. It is not the kind of music which you could play in the background while doing something else. It is not the sort of music you could be indifferent to. Neither is this an album I could listen to all the time for many days in a row; this music is immensely beautiful and melancholic at the same time; perhaps even depressing. The band describes their music as "nihilist suicide pop", however, the word "suicide" has always seemed to me slightly exaggerated; Spiritual Front's music was not thus depressing. However, it's different this time. On the other hand, categorising this music as "pop" seems absurd now. As for me, this album is much closer to classical music than to pop music.

Black Hearts in Black Suits is the fruit of collaboration of Simone Salvatori with the composer Stefano Puri (the artists also cooperated in the past while making the album Armageddon Gigolo). Stephano Puri is a contemporary composer of classical, symphonic, choral and liturgical music. He conducts choirs and is the founder of a vocal quartet specialising in the performance of early music. He is also responsible for contemporary music at the Basilica of the XII Holy Apostles in Rome.

Puri has composed all music on Spiritual Front's newest album; he also plays the piano here. The song lyrics are actually poems of the legendary German film director Reiner Werner Fassbinder. Emotional vocal interpretations by Simone Salvatori sound perfect in the company of the strings and the piano. We will also hear a choir in some of the tracks– the album starts with Requiem Aeternam sung by the Black Hearts Choir. Authentic classical instruments and a real choir really distinguish this album from contemporary, frequently computerised music. It's worth adding that making this album took a long time – 3 years. The artists describe it as "A concept album more akin to an opera than to
the traditional LP". Obviously, we won't find opera arias here, nonetheless, the album surely could not be easily categorised. Is it classical, film or theatre music, is it neofolk, or perhaps, after all, the aforementioned nihilist suicide pop? "From Franz Schubert to Nick Cave, Michael
Nyman to David Tibet, from Arvo Pärt to Marc Almond…" - these are inspirations listed by the artists themselves. Quite an amazing mixture!

It isn't necessarily an album you will fall in love with from the very start. Nevertheless, the more I listen to it, the more beauty I notice. This music is perfect for a solitary autumnal or wintry evening; simply, put on your headphones and drown in Spiritual Front's melancholy. At the moment my favourite song on the album is the 8th track – No Forgiveness. However, there are many more songs here where Simone Salvatori weavs his magic with his emotional and melancholic singing, while the strings and the piano multiply and strengthen these emotions. I think that, with time, I will discover more and more in this beautiful and sad music. I am already excited about the Spiritual Front's gig in Poznan in April 2014.


01. Requiem Æternam
02. Life's too long
03. Martha
04. Eternally yours
05. Veronika
06. The only sin
07. Dies Iræ
08. No forgiveness
09. Erwig
10. I just can't have nothing
11. Lacrimosa
12. I believe I was yours
13. Franz
14. Choose death
15. Each man kills the thing he loves
Translator: Fairycharlotte
Add date: 2013-12-24 / Music reviews

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