Background/Info: Mondträume singer Damasius Venysthe last year released the EP “Exile Nights” from his solo-project Mental Exile. It was a successful debut revealing danceable and somewhat 80s-like inspired electro-pop music. The album is inspired by the artist’s passion for 80s music and sci/fi movies, which he tried to transpose into music as a movie-soundtrack. It’s a kind of concept dealing with a guy called ‘Shadow’ who has been condemned to exile.
Content: The 80s electro-pop vibes are more represent at this album than at the EP. It’s clearly noticeable when paying attention for the dry snares and the astral atmosphere recovering the work. This album definitely has something old-school like. It also is a melodic album, which even reminds me to Second Decay –during the chorus of “The Night Is Mine” feat. Midnight Danger. The album reveals some interesting ‘features’ like the aforementioned song with Swedish project Midnight Danger plus two other songs featuring Lightshifters from Germany. About Lightshifters I especially like the female backing vocals on both songs.
+ + + : First of all I have to say a word about the EP, which was featuring 3 exclusive songs. It’s rather unusual to see artists releasing exclusive songs for EP’s and that’s precisely what Mental Exile did, so respect for this! The other 3 songs from the EP were remixes. This album features the original songs of these remixes. The 80s approach is omnipresent, but it’s not an emulation of old pioneers. It’s just an important influence, which has been transposed into something personal and mixed with contemporary elements. The melodic aspect of the work symbolizes the elaboration of the songs. This is an album that will make you dance while still featuring emotive songs. Last, but not least, I also have to say a word about the great vocals of Damasius Venysthe who for sure remains one of the most talented electro-pop singers from his generation. I also like the duo parts together with Marthe Borge-Lunde Pfirrmann.
– – – : A great album and cool songs, but maybe not a real hit. But that’s a good reason to purchase the previously released EP as well, which features the great song “Midnight Rain”.
Conclusion: Mental Exile definitely sounds more than a side-project! This project has a real potential.
Best songs: “Delta City”, “The Valley Of The Fallen”, “Her Only Wish feat. Lightshifters”, “Falling”.