Finale Synthpop, Goth Nite Risk Nite Risk is a synthpop and goth duo made up of two pale brunettes (those are the artists' words, not mine, but I liked them enough to use them) who have banded together under the mutual appreciation for synthesizers and music. The only release aside from their debut album that I can find is the "Time" EP which released in October of 2014 and is available on Nite Risk's Bandcamp page. It seems as if the band either took a break or life got in the way as their debut album "Finale' released nearly seven years later in February of 2021. The ten track album is described as "two Texans' take on matters of friendship, struggle, and survival." With the themes of the album no secret, it's time to see how the music matches up. Finale by Nite RiskIt is important to note that four of the songs that were on "Time" have been reworked for "Finale". Those tracks are 'Architects', 'Ghost Girl', 'Life Dreams', and 'Revolving Door'. Comparing the tracks is a bit impossible to do as the versions found on "Finale" are almost unidentifiable to their original counterparts aside from the vocals. For example, 'Architects' on "Time" is a very hard song for me to listen to; the amount of grime and dirt that pours through the synthesizers is disgusting and made for a headache inducing experience. On the other hand, 'Architects' on "Finale" is a much cleaner song that I am able to get through without wanting to tear my headphones off. That being said, and continuing with 'Architects' as that is the first song on the album, the intro track is an okay stab at gothic inspired synthpop. Gloomy synths mix with a higher pitched note while a quiet bassline maintains comfort throughout the song. I feel as if the vocals in this track have too much echo behind them, making me feel as if they're singing in a completely empty house. There was also a sound out of left field at the two-minute and eight-second mark (sounds like a robot on an old NES) that repeats once or twice more; it didn't fit in with the song. When I heard it the first time, I had to replay that portion of the song just to make sure it was actually there and not an outside noise from elsewhere. Later on in the track, sounds of lasers firing in the background give 'Architects' a small nostalgic trip. This instrumental piece in the song is by far the best part about it. As I continued through the album, past 'Architects' and into songs such as the slow but grim piece of 'Deja Vu', the retro throwback bits of 'Sign of the Times', and the gothic ambiance found within 'Darkness Hides', my main complaint of the album began to form. While I did not necessarily hate what was found within "Finale", I also did not find any songs that stood out to me either. After each playthrough, I began to feel as if something was missing. On my fourth spin of the album, I caught myself mouthing out loud, "It sounds like a demo." That was when I double backed on myself and understood why I couldn't get into some of the interesting sounds that "Finale" was putting out. This album could have been much improved with time in the studio. If there was studio involvement (I can't find any credits for the album if any exist), it sure does not sound like it. While the sound on the album is not terrible, it does sound electronically raw. Other synthpop bands have mixes that allow percussion to pop, synth lines to be clean and durable, and mastering that allows the entirety of the album to sound polished and complete. "Finale" sounds less like a finished album and more like a demo that still needs to finish a couple of final steps before being released to the world. I do not think that lack of creativity and ideas is at fault for "Finale" coming up short, as the duo clearly have plenty of synthpop and gothic influences to create their own version of a walk-in-the-graveyard album. Even the vocals are pretty solid despite being covered in a layer of electronic effects from time-to-time. But, at the end of the day, after listening to and studying "Finale" play-after-play, I just found myself bored and apathetic to what the album was trying to achieve. As stated earlier, the reworked tracks are better than what was found on "Time", but they come with their fair share of problems mainly due to muddy production. The same opinion follows for the rest of the songs on the album. While neither bad or good, "Finale" lingers in a musical limbo where I just don't have strong feelings about it either way. That is why I am giving this album from Nite Risk a smack-in-the-middle five out of ten. As always, I try to encourage you, the reader, to take this review with a grain of salt; this is one opinion on the internet in comparison to a thousand others that can be formed. I still encourage you to listen to it and form your own opinion; perhaps you'll find something to appreciate in "Finale" that I otherwise could not.This review was commissioned through our Ko-fi page. 350
Brutal Resonance

Nite Risk - Finale

5.0
"Mediocre"
Released off label 2021
Nite Risk is a synthpop and goth duo made up of two pale brunettes (those are the artists' words, not mine, but I liked them enough to use them) who have banded together under the mutual appreciation for synthesizers and music. The only release aside from their debut album that I can find is the "Time" EP which released in October of 2014 and is available on Nite Risk's Bandcamp page. It seems as if the band either took a break or life got in the way as their debut album "Finale' released nearly seven years later in February of 2021. The ten track album is described as "two Texans' take on matters of friendship, struggle, and survival." With the themes of the album no secret, it's time to see how the music matches up. 



It is important to note that four of the songs that were on "Time" have been reworked for "Finale". Those tracks are 'Architects', 'Ghost Girl', 'Life Dreams', and 'Revolving Door'. Comparing the tracks is a bit impossible to do as the versions found on "Finale" are almost unidentifiable to their original counterparts aside from the vocals. For example, 'Architects' on "Time" is a very hard song for me to listen to; the amount of grime and dirt that pours through the synthesizers is disgusting and made for a headache inducing experience. On the other hand, 'Architects' on "Finale" is a much cleaner song that I am able to get through without wanting to tear my headphones off. 

That being said, and continuing with 'Architects' as that is the first song on the album, the intro track is an okay stab at gothic inspired synthpop. Gloomy synths mix with a higher pitched note while a quiet bassline maintains comfort throughout the song. I feel as if the vocals in this track have too much echo behind them, making me feel as if they're singing in a completely empty house. There was also a sound out of left field at the two-minute and eight-second mark (sounds like a robot on an old NES) that repeats once or twice more; it didn't fit in with the song. When I heard it the first time, I had to replay that portion of the song just to make sure it was actually there and not an outside noise from elsewhere. Later on in the track, sounds of lasers firing in the background give 'Architects' a small nostalgic trip. This instrumental piece in the song is by far the best part about it. 

As I continued through the album, past 'Architects' and into songs such as the slow but grim piece of 'Deja Vu', the retro throwback bits of 'Sign of the Times', and the gothic ambiance found within 'Darkness Hides', my main complaint of the album began to form. While I did not necessarily hate what was found within "Finale", I also did not find any songs that stood out to me either. After each playthrough, I began to feel as if something was missing. On my fourth spin of the album, I caught myself mouthing out loud, "It sounds like a demo." That was when I double backed on myself and understood why I couldn't get into some of the interesting sounds that "Finale" was putting out. 

This album could have been much improved with time in the studio. If there was studio involvement (I can't find any credits for the album if any exist), it sure does not sound like it. While the sound on the album is not terrible, it does sound electronically raw. Other synthpop bands have mixes that allow percussion to pop, synth lines to be clean and durable, and mastering that allows the entirety of the album to sound polished and complete. "Finale" sounds less like a finished album and more like a demo that still needs to finish a couple of final steps before being released to the world. 

I do not think that lack of creativity and ideas is at fault for "Finale" coming up short, as the duo clearly have plenty of synthpop and gothic influences to create their own version of a walk-in-the-graveyard album. Even the vocals are pretty solid despite being covered in a layer of electronic effects from time-to-time. But, at the end of the day, after listening to and studying "Finale" play-after-play, I just found myself bored and apathetic to what the album was trying to achieve. As stated earlier, the reworked tracks are better than what was found on "Time", but they come with their fair share of problems mainly due to muddy production. The same opinion follows for the rest of the songs on the album. While neither bad or good, "Finale" lingers in a musical limbo where I just don't have strong feelings about it either way. That is why I am giving this album from Nite Risk a smack-in-the-middle five out of ten. 

As always, I try to encourage you, the reader, to take this review with a grain of salt; this is one opinion on the internet in comparison to a thousand others that can be formed. I still encourage you to listen to it and form your own opinion; perhaps you'll find something to appreciate in "Finale" that I otherwise could not.

This review was commissioned through our Ko-fi page.
Mar 14 2021

Off label

Official release released by the artist themselves without the backing of a label.

Steven Gullotta

info@brutalresonance.com
I've been writing for Brutal Resonance since November of 2012 and now serve as the editor-in-chief. I love the dark electronic underground and usually have too much to listen to at once but I love it. I am also an editor at Aggressive Deprivation, a digital/physical magazine since March of 2016. I support the scene as much as I can from my humble laptop.

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