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White Moth Black Butterfly - 'Atone' Album Review


1. I. Incarnate

2. Rising Sun

3. Tempest

4. An Ocean Away

5. Symmetry

6. II. Penitence

7. The Sage

8. The Serpent

9. Atone

10. III. Deep Earth

11. Evelyn

I so nearly reviewed this album after one listen. It would not have been very complimentary! Ever hopeful I have decided to give it a second go, possibly in a more receptive frame of mind. I’m glad I did. There is no getting away from the fact that Atone is a slow burner, you can be forgiven (as I hope I will be) for accusing White Moth Black Butterfly of being a cut price Enigma as that is sadly how they came across first listen. It’s true to say however even on initially hearing the album there are several moments where the hairs on the nape of the neck stand up.

Although the band does mention Enigma as an influence I was doing them a disservice saying they are a cut price version. On further listening the subtleties of the tracks stand out, yes at times they sound like Enigma, at other times like Massive Attack (Think 'Mezzanine') but they do have their own sound, they are less dependent than the groups mentioned on electronic backing. That’s not to say there isn’t any; they just seem to be more subtle in their use. We here some Japanese strings on “The Sage” which I personally love; it really works and lifts the track up.

My one slight problem with this album, even on further listening and it’s no fault of the artists is that at times Daniel Tompkins vocals remind me of Gary Barlow and Jordan Turners vocals can sometimes be delivered in that breathy way that really annoys. Second time round I am really engaging with the songs more than I thought I would, I suppose the fact it’s an ambient piece suggests that I was expecting too much of it the first time round?

As a background album it would work anytime, as a sit and listen album I suspect it would also work straight away, listening to it whilst distracted is definitely not the way to go. Overall then, I like it though not a fan of some of the vocals. I also like the album cover, I think that’s important too; you just can’t beat a good album cover.

Review - Andrew Forcer

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