Mildreda – I Was Never Really There (Album – Dependent Records)

By Aug 28,2021

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Genre/Influences: Dark-Electro, Industrial.

Format: Digital, CD.

Background/Info: Mildreda is the Dark-Electro/Industrial project of Jan Dewulf. While he was already active with this project during the 90s he mainly got recognition with the Electro-Pop project Diskonnekted while he, in the past few years, was more active with the Goth/Wave formation Your Life On Hold. He now strikes back with the fourth full length of Mildreda, which also is the first one released on CD format.

Content: Jan Dewulf reveals a rather diversified piece of work, which is however dominated by Dark-Electro sound sculptures. Some songs are supported by dark, melodic strings while other pieces are more into Industrial elements. I also noticed a few cuts mixing Dark-Electro and Industrial together with overwhelming epic arrangements. Notice by the way you’ll hear Dirk Ivens (Jan composed the music for the last Dive album) and Cyan (The Eternal Afflict) singing on two songs while Don Gordon (Numb) contributed to the production of one cut.

+ + + : The album reveals different influences, but Mildreda took me by surprise with “Liaisons Dangereuses” (there also is a great clip of this song) and “Erased” featuring Don Gordon. The epic/orchestral arrangements running through both cuts are absolutely impressive, creating a kind of new Dark-Electro dimension. It’s an imaginary hybrid between Yelworc and In Slaughter Natives. I also have to mention the Industrial-driven “Echoes” featuring Dirk Ivens, which sounds like a more elaborated Dive-song. The last part of the album also reveals 3 brilliant songs. “Blame It On The Moon” features the charismatic voice of Cyan. “Opposite Choice” is accomplished with a Techno touch and “Dream Machine” sounds like a great final track. Last, but not least I also have to say a word about the great ghost-like vocals’ production of Jan Dewulf, which matches this sound.

– – – : The album has something versatile and I regret there are no more Orchestral/Epic driven songs. Both debut cuts are a little bit hesitant, but quite progressively this album reveals great surprises.

Conclusion: Jan Dewulf has already done promising things in his career, but this Mildreda album might be his best work ever!

Best songs: “Liaisons Dangereuses”, “Opposite Choice”, “Erased”, “Dream Machine”, “Blame It On The Moon”.

Rate: 8½.

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