Genre/Influences: Electro-Pop, Punk & Pop.
Format: Digital, CD.
Background/Info: “Vargtimmar” which in Swedish means ‘hour of the wolf’ is the new album of the Italian artist Christian Ryder aka TourdeForce. The album also is the last chapter from the “Anger”-trilogy; which took off with “Jedem Das Seine” (2014) and moved on with “Very Industrial People” (2018).
Content: TourdeForce holds on Electro-Pop influences, but you rapidly will notice the writing moves a step further and explores other genres as well. There’s a twist between pure, melodic Electro-Pop songs and heavier cuts featuring heavy guitar playing. It sometimes sounds a bit Punk-styled while refined with Electronic melodies. The work sounds a bit like opposite styles that have been mixed. And that’s not all as I also noticed a kind of John Lennon inspired short track (cf. “Too Many Words”) while other songs are featuring a Psychedelic touch on top of the work. The vocals have something fragile. TourdeForce is a solo-project although a few female singers and guitarists contributed to the work as well. Notice the album also features a surprising cover version of Death In June’s “Nowhere Street” while the lyrics feature words from very famous writers like William Blake, H.P. Lovecraft ao.
+ + + : It’s not easy to catch this work, which has something versatile. I personally prefer the Electro-Pop style and especially when it becomes melancholic like on “Nemo Propheta In Patria”. But I can also enjoy some harder passages with guitar play, creating a Punk-Pop offspring. “A Hero For His Son” is a noticeable song in the genre. Christian Ryder has for sure a talent to compose great melody lines, which sound like the common thread of the album.
– – – : The production of the vocals is sometimes missing a little bit power. I’m sometimes missing bit cohesion between the songs because of the album’s diversity.
Conclusion: TourdeForce is clearly a band with a very own approach and spirit. The entire album is not convincing although features noticeable cuts.
Best songs: “Nemo Propheta In Patria”, “A Hero For His Son”, “Le Dernier Des Bellini”, “You Ass Rah ‘El”.