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Rome – Flowers From Exile

The forth album belonging to the Luxembourgians tends to detach itself from the very impressive Ambient/Industrial dimension found on the first two albums. The explosive „MMM” followed, an album that warned us that Rome’s focus wants to move more on melody, touching onto Pop and more rhytm. Having said that, the interludes and the sound effects proved once again that Rome are within the Dark dimension. What the two have not given up on is the NeoFolk side, very well represented on some tracks belonging to the album released last year.

The teaser launched a month ago has failed to impress me, and I don’t really see how it could have managed that anyway, if we are to take in mind that out of the 4 sequences included, two were from the first and third album (somewhat remixed) and “To Die Among Strangers” was a song that was used as a preface for the new work. The only atypical track but with a complete Dark Ambient feel is “Mourir A Madrid”, a remarkable song that emanates a sad aura, characteristic to the theme developed on “FFE”. But what is the theme? The Spanish Civil War and the exile of the thousands of people who lived through those terrible times.

It seems that Jerome’s uncles family went through that, hence… Spain. And since we are mentioning this country, it mustn’t surprise us hearing flamenco rhythms introduced for the first time ever into the sound of Rome!!! In fact, the new tracks are rather varied, different both as structure but also as interpretation: we have classical guitar, predominant bass, bombastic percussion, essential violins, modern effects, traditional elements, male choirs and sopranos, different voices on the background… everything revolving around Jerome’s superb voice, with an exceptional low tone! From the beginnings represented by Tom Waits, Leonard Cohen and all the way to Nick Cave or Johnny Cash but continuing on the old Death In June line, Jerome Reuter shows us once again that he knows how to interpret a song in a superb manner!

Patrick Damiani is a very talented guitar player and this is probably a well known fact to the listeners of aggressive metal, from the excellent Avant-garde Metal project Le Grand Guignol (ex-Vindsval). In this NeoFolk project he is showing us a less than complex approach (not to call it simplistic) but irreproachably executed! Considering that the 12 tracks were recorded in Patrick’s studio, you can imagine that it all sounds perfect, from sound to the most discreet of mixing… Just as in the case of the previous albums, the English language lyrics are reigning, but other languages like German, Spanish or even… Romanian, aren’t missing either! I will not get into the details of describing the tracks as it would mean to ruin the harmony of an album conceived in a spectacular manner, but I can assure you that you will not find yourself be bored by any of the tracks and you will not find many similar elements wihtin them either… excepting, of course, those three indivisible components: Jerome’s voice, Patrick’s guitar and, something new, Nikos’s violin.

Those addicted to Industrial Martial sounds will be disappointed by this seemingly simplistic approach, ballad-like and too ‘light’, same with those who were appreciating the Dark Ambient note and the tangled up accords found on some previous tracks. On the other hand, the Epic dimension seems to be more potent than ever, the catchy sound probably being able to save a sort of monotony that struck a live audience! If we are to judge from the point of view of the NeoFolk seen, I am not sure if Rome has taken a step ahead, but it is most definite that they now have the opportunity of breaking some barriers, their music now being more modern, with influences from various styles, which all brought together frame a style of their own! But what is strange still: it releases an impressive mood and magnetism after every audition!

2 Comments, Comment or Ping

  1. Dick

    There’s no description for Flowers From Exile aside from “beautiful.”

  2. Vuk

    While I prefer the direction they went with MMM and previous releases, there’s definitely something to be said about this album.
    I’ve given it multiple listens, and I hated it at first because of how bright-sounding it is in comparison to other Rome releases, but it has slowly grown on me.
    It almost requires a certain mood for me to truly appreciate it, but when it grabs hold of me, I don’t see beauty in its utter despair like on most Rome albums, but rather with how romantic it is.
    I think you’re mistaken in thinking it takes a simple approach, however. If anything, it’s their most complex work yet, in that it evokes the group’s expressionist roots in a different manner than usual.

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