It’s easy to imagine Chevalier Avant Garde’s new LP, Resurrection Machine, providing the backdrop to a modern day sci-fi film, in the vein of Blade Runner.
The vocals are buried deeply behind synthesized sounds, making it hard to distinguish individual lyrics. However, the intimate, husky, whisper-like voice is irresistibly spellbinding—at times it seems the singer is speaking in an exotic language.
This is especially true in “Nowhere” and “When We Meet.” The haunting gravelly vocals on the tracks have certain qualities that bring back memories of The Moody Blues’ “Nights in White Satin” with a much darker edge.
That dark edge grows throughout in the album. Songs like “Killing Fields” invoke images of industrial abandonment and cold mechanisms of machinery. It is slightly jarring when they are juxtaposed by the more seductive sounds of “When We Meet” and “Rose Rider.” The shorter preludes interspersed between the longer songs, like “Five of Cups” and “Temenos” follow a similar pattern, wherein the listener is jolted awake from the stupor of the previous song.
The album moves into a strong ending with “Rose Rider,” a short but powerfully potent song. The haunting voice emulates the monophonic sounds of plainchant, most commonly performed by monks at churches. Rather than a religious image, however, Chevalier Avant Garde evokes a clearly dominant sexuality.
In Ressurrection Machine, Chevalier Avant Garde organically capture the dichotomies of nature: birth and death, vulnerability and strength, pain and pleasure, love and hate. It cannot be married to one particular genre, though it can be said that a new revival of ‘trip hop’ (the genre of groups like Portishead and Sneaker Pimps) has begun. Catering to a myriad of fantasies and emotions, Chevalier Avant Garde have crafted an album that delivers a complete bodily listening experience.