Glis - Phoenix
EBM, Futurepop This is Glis' first release in almost eight years. You can just begin to imagine what kind of expectations that sets.
That's not to say there hasn't been releases from Glis, just not in the traditional studio sense. Just take 2008's great 'A Shot And A Bassline', 15 tracks reworked, rearranged and remixed by no other than Rotersand's very own Krischian Wesenberg.

For those of you who don't know Glis. It's the brainchild of Shaun Frandsen, hailing from San Francisco. His first album 'Extract' was released in 2003 and 'Phoenix' marks his fifth release to date.

As mentioned the expectations to this was pretty high, and let me just tell you right of the bat, you're either gonna be dissapointed with this or you're gonna love it.
If youre expecting more Glis like were used to you're probably one of those who's gonna get upset with this one. I on the other hand, love it. The release is a pretty big departure for what we've come to expect from Glis, taken his earlier releases in consideration.
His earlier work tended to be pretty harsh on the electronic side. Dancefloor fillers with pumping beats. On 'Phoenix', he takes us on a journey back to the dark side of the eighties, finding inspiration from old heroes like Joy Division, David Bowie and even Brian Eno.
To put it in perspective, this is basically what would become if Trent Reznor hooked up with Joy Division and formed a new band called Nine Inch Division, (That's the best I could do).
Sure, all the electronic elements are still here, they're just toned down a bit, leaving for more guitars and dreamy soundscapes balancing delightfully on beautiful melodies. Electronic shoegaze is an accurate way to put it. You still have some songs on here who follows the old formula, like the 9 minute long, epic opener 'Apocalypse Parties', which builds up from hazy electronic sounds and basically collapses in a dancefloor party.
From start to finish this feels like a very personal record. Somewhat autobiographical. It's clear that Glis takes all his love for the dark eighties and tries to give us a taste of what inspires him, and he does a fine job doing so. The music really captures the feeling and desperation of that era in music history.
If there were one drawback to this release it's the use of female vocalists. A couple of tracks feature guest vocalists and it doesn't work all that well. Take 'Blue Sky Night', a beautiful track with great melodies and a knockout shoegazer feel to it, unfortunately the vocals on this are poor at best. It's a shame, it could easily be the best track on the album. Either the song is so good that the vocals seems worse then they really are. Or the vocals are so bad that the song actually seems better than it is. Either way, it still sucks.
But all in all, its just a drop in the ocean, ultimately the album is so solid throughout that minor setbacks are to be expected.

Glis has made an album that actually did live up to my expectations, not in the way I thought but by doing something completely different he took me by surprise and there's really nothing I can do, except to love it. I suggest you do too.
4
Brutal Resonance

Glis - Phoenix

8.5
"Great"
N/A
Electroracle
Released 2013 by Alfa-Matrix
This is Glis' first release in almost eight years. You can just begin to imagine what kind of expectations that sets.
That's not to say there hasn't been releases from Glis, just not in the traditional studio sense. Just take 2008's great 'A Shot And A Bassline', 15 tracks reworked, rearranged and remixed by no other than Rotersand's very own Krischian Wesenberg.

For those of you who don't know Glis. It's the brainchild of Shaun Frandsen, hailing from San Francisco. His first album 'Extract' was released in 2003 and 'Phoenix' marks his fifth release to date.

As mentioned the expectations to this was pretty high, and let me just tell you right of the bat, you're either gonna be dissapointed with this or you're gonna love it.
If youre expecting more Glis like were used to you're probably one of those who's gonna get upset with this one. I on the other hand, love it. The release is a pretty big departure for what we've come to expect from Glis, taken his earlier releases in consideration.
His earlier work tended to be pretty harsh on the electronic side. Dancefloor fillers with pumping beats. On 'Phoenix', he takes us on a journey back to the dark side of the eighties, finding inspiration from old heroes like Joy Division, David Bowie and even Brian Eno.
To put it in perspective, this is basically what would become if Trent Reznor hooked up with Joy Division and formed a new band called Nine Inch Division, (That's the best I could do).
Sure, all the electronic elements are still here, they're just toned down a bit, leaving for more guitars and dreamy soundscapes balancing delightfully on beautiful melodies. Electronic shoegaze is an accurate way to put it. You still have some songs on here who follows the old formula, like the 9 minute long, epic opener 'Apocalypse Parties', which builds up from hazy electronic sounds and basically collapses in a dancefloor party.
From start to finish this feels like a very personal record. Somewhat autobiographical. It's clear that Glis takes all his love for the dark eighties and tries to give us a taste of what inspires him, and he does a fine job doing so. The music really captures the feeling and desperation of that era in music history.
If there were one drawback to this release it's the use of female vocalists. A couple of tracks feature guest vocalists and it doesn't work all that well. Take 'Blue Sky Night', a beautiful track with great melodies and a knockout shoegazer feel to it, unfortunately the vocals on this are poor at best. It's a shame, it could easily be the best track on the album. Either the song is so good that the vocals seems worse then they really are. Or the vocals are so bad that the song actually seems better than it is. Either way, it still sucks.
But all in all, its just a drop in the ocean, ultimately the album is so solid throughout that minor setbacks are to be expected.

Glis has made an album that actually did live up to my expectations, not in the way I thought but by doing something completely different he took me by surprise and there's really nothing I can do, except to love it. I suggest you do too.
Mar 15 2013

Kjetil Haugen

info@brutalresonance.com
Writer and contributor on Brutal Resonance

Share this review

Facebook
Twitter
Google+
0
Shares

Buy this release

We don't have any stores registered for this release. Click here to search on Google

Related articles

Blank - 'Dark Retreat'

Review, May 27 2013

Glis - 'Apocalypse Parties'

Review, Jul 28 2012

Blank

Interview, May 27 2013

Shortly about us

Started in spring 2009, Brutal Resonance quickly grew from a Swedish based netzine into an established International zine of the highest standard.

We cover genres like Synthpop, EBM, Industrial, Dark Ambient, Neofolk, Darkwave, Noise and all their sub- and similar genres.

© Brutal Resonance 2009-2016
Designed by and developed by Head of Mímir 2016