May 23, 2024

Norma Loy – Ouroboros (Album – Manic Depression Records)

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Genre/Influences: Dark-Wave, Post-Punk, Minimal-Wave.

Format: Digital, CD, Vinyl.

Background/Info: Legendary French 80s formation Norma Loy are back on track. Seven years have passed since the previous album “Baphomet” which already was a come-back album. Core members ‘Usher’ and ‘Chelsea’ joined hands together with a few guests to bring us twelve cover versions.

Content: You’ll discover cover versions of very famous artists like the unavoidable Suicide but also Minimal Compact, David Bowie, Leonard Cohen, Nico, The Velvet Underground, Tuxedomoon, Throbbing Gristle, Factrix, David Lynch, Coil and… Norma Loy. The songs have been meticulously transposed into the dark, haunting, and sometimes minimal style of Norma Loy. You easily recognize most of the songs and their original sound but they’ve been recovered with a darker touch mixing guitar and electronics.

+ + + : I mostly have reservations about cover albums but the way this opus has been accomplished is absolutely great and magical. You easily recognize songs from artists like Suicide, Throbbing Gristle and even Leonard Cohen but Norma Loy adapted the songs in their own, obscure, interpretation. From pure Post-Punk and Dark-Wave to Minimal-Wave the work is versatile and yet compact. Most of the songs are fully accomplished featuring porcelain sound treatments on top but I especially recommend listening to the subdued “Saeta” (Nico), the rough and minimal driven “Touch Me” (Suicide), the harder, Dark-Wave sounding “Romance” (which is a 2022 version from an older Norma Loy song), the good-old Dark/Cold-Wave like “A Night To Forget” (Factrix) and the somewhat Ritual-orientated “Ritual Of The Mind” (Coil).

– – – : The single cut which couldn’t convince me is the Bowie-cover “Some Are”.

Conclusion: Cover albums always are a bit of a challenge but “Ouroboros” sounds as a refreshing Dark-Wave / Post-Punk piece of music.

Best songs: “A Night To Forget”, “Touch Me”, “Ritual Of The Mind”, “Saeta”, “Romance”, “Venus In Furs”.

Rate: 8½.


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Inferno Sound Diaries
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