Format: Digital, CD, Vinyl.
Background/Info: Tom Shear is back on track unleashing the new Assemblage 23 album after a hiatus of four years. It seems the work has been released after a bad period of depression. The work is also available as a double CD and –Vinyl featuring remixes by other artists.
Content: Tom Shear has been always linked with Future-Pop music and even if this influence got a bit lost on the previous releases, he together with VNV Nation and Neuroticfish probably belong to the ‘Godfathers’ in the genre. But I can’t say “Mourn” sounds Future-Pop-like, Tom Shear taking his fans by surprise composing a more intimate and sometimes very emotional work. This is pure Electro-Pop with a dark edge on top. Some passages are reminding me of Depeche Mode, but other parts reveal some minimalism like a new path that has to be explored.
+ + + : There’s no better way taking off with a strong song and that’s precisely how sounds “Epiphany”. It’s a well-crafted and extremely emotional song carried by a catchy chorus. I can’t say Tom Shear has reinvented Assemblage 23 sound, but “Mourn” sounds like one of his darkest, most intimate and personal albums to date. But I also like the diversity of the tracklist. From the harder and dark sounding “Anxiety” to the minimal-driven “Confession” to the pure melancholic “Welcome, Apocalypse” this work appears to be the right exorcism to chase personal demons. Assemblage 23 also remains a project inspired by great melody lines. Last, but not least I also have to say a word about the production of the vocals. A singer’s timbre of voice is also in constant evolution and has been produced in perfect harmony with the music content.
– – – : “Mourn” is maybe not the album that will feature the greatest Assemblage 23 hits although there are many cool songs featured.
Conclusion: Assemblage 23 is striking back with his probably his most personal work to date. I’m not saying it’s the best album in Tom Shear’s wide discography, but definitely the most authentic one.
Best songs: “Epiphany”, “Welcome, Apocalypse”, “Confession”, “Factory”, “Tragedy”.