In William Control’s Holy Bible of Revelations, we’ve reached chapter 2: The Black, the second EP in his four part series of records. While debut EP The Pale hooked us immediately into the world of dark, imaginative dance classics, The Black doesn’t quite live up to the hype of its predecessor, but has its moments of shining glory.
Analog Flesh in a Digital World is without a doubt, the catchiest and bounciest of the four. Control’s fantastic vocals into play against a powerful electronic backdrop, which remain a constant highlight throughout the EP. You can almost see the strobe lights flashing in your periphery as this tantalizing track echoes in your ears.
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Sandwiched between the paradoxical opening and closing tracks are the cleverly orchestrated Knife Play and All I Need. Influential ribbons of Depeche Mode dance throughout, but they ultimately lack the lively animation that we may expect from Control. If this were a full length, 16 track album, your interest may dip at this point. We can imagine these might be the songs you’d skip if you were creating ‘The Neuromantic Best Hits’ playlist. To say that these songs aren’t great would be an outright lie, but they lack the power and memorability of opening track and the likes of synth classic The Monster from preceding EP The Pale.
Closing track Velvet Rose is quite a change of pace, with no synth or hint of electronica in sight: just William Control in all his dark, brooding quality marrying with a hauntingly soft piano and carries an immense amount of beauty in its subtlety. Control’s intense vocals just seem to click with every genre, and this powerful asset makes for wonderful listening. Velvet Rose is definitely unexpected, but is the perfect closer.
With two more EPs in the pipeline, we’re only halfway through this interesting saga and it’ll be exciting to see what direction The Neuromantic Movement will take us on next.