There’s a world of turbulent energy inside of Verena Von Horsten and shes here to tell us her story on her second solo album ‘ Alien Angel Super Death’. The colourful haired experimental artist from Zurich Switzerland seems to find a lot of relief in her writing, which is at times angry, but more often empowering. The record was inspired by the passing of Von Horstens brother whom she lost to suicide two years ago. Since her debut album ‘ Mother Tongue’ was released in 2011 the avant garde singer songwriter has been compared to the greats Bjork and PJ Harvey yet she is still to have as much recognition.
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The ten track album opens with an intense drumroll to introduce the composition ‘ The Hymn’ led by a strong synth beat that gives you an idea of how the album is going to take off from here. Von Horsten compliments the synth with her sharp and piercing vocals and we are off to a great start. The second track ” All About” gives more of a sentimental side to Von Horstens vocals.You can hear the psychological trauma as you are greeted with a dreamlike sequence that almost has an ominous like feel to it, as if you would hear it in a dark cabaret theatre. When asked who her influences were for the record Von Horsten has said she was inspired by ‘Live records of Leonard Cohen and Bob Marley on tapes.’
The album is executed by taking a softer turn and we are introduced to several electronic melodies. ‘Sweet Lullaby’ has a heavy introduction transposing into a tranquil chant. ‘The Monster’ is a stand out track where we really can feel the pain and tragedy in Von Horstens vocal. Towards the end of the record we come to realise that there are moments in life where there is pain there is also strength. ‘ A Healing Moment’ elicits one of these moments.The entirely instrumental piece feels somewhat angelic and serene. As the album draws to a close we are met with ‘ The Believer’. Through a triumph of artistic expression Von Horsten is a powerhouse as she reaches the crescendo and has her final word.
Ending on a high note what Von Horsten really does evoke in the end is life itself. Through a haunting unimaginable personal pain silenced by art from beginning to end, she is not afraid to live.
‘Alien Angel Super Death’ is out now via A Tree in a Field Records .