Genre/Influences: Wave-Pop, Dark-Electro, Gothic.
Format: Digital, CD.
Background/Info: “Aten” is the second official full length by Polish formation Stillnox (based in the UK). The debut album “Mercury” was released in 2019. The band is driven by the creative spirit of Martin Seraphin who’s assisted by female singer La Toya and producer Gregor Ros. The album is driven by some history of Ancient Egypt, and also by emotions and feelings.
Content: This work sounds more diversified than its predecessor. The work takes off in a rather Gothic approach and progressively moves into pure Electro and even Dark-Electro passages. We next get a kind of Electro-ballad followed by a surprising Pop-inspired cover version of Duran Duran’s “Ordinary World”. Stillnox finally moved back again into a few harder cuts alternated with dreamy passages. Nearly all songs have been sung in duo (male and female vocals); mainly in English, but also in Polish.
+ + + : Sound-wise this album is definitely more convincing than its predecessor. I like the ‘purer’ Electro approach shown on “Spellbound” and the heavier Dark-Electro orientated “War Of The Worlds”. There also is something to say about the reverie emerging at “Awake” featuring the magic of La Toya’s vocals. I like the melodic side of the songs.
– – – : The major point that hurts is the production of the male vocals; I think the artist should focus on songwriting while leaving the vocals to La Toya who’s clearly more talented. The songwriting has been improved, but there’s still a way to go. The cover version of “Ordinary World” is for sure a song to play live, but the studio version suffers from a real accomplishment.
Conclusion: I clearly expected a bit more from this second album although there’s some improvement.
Best songs: “War Of The Worlds”, “Awake”, “Razor Blade”.