February 19, 2021 cEvin Key – Resonance (Album Review)
While everyone’s taste in music can fluctuate in wildly different manners, there is always some individual rhyme or reason to what lights a person’s soul on fire – and what tries to put out those flames. Embracing the positive energy that surrounds one’s life is key to growing amidst a sea of disarray and darkness. Another important and influential musical key is Industrial and Electronic guru cEvin Key. He has returned to the limelight with a brand new solo album called Resonance set to release on Friday, February 19th, 2021 via Artoffact Records.
Of course cEvin Key’s most popular claim to fame is as co-founder of Canadian Industrial band Skinny Puppy, which went through disbanding, tragic loss, and then a re-group in the 2000s. Of course, Key has been constantly busy in the scene since the ’80s creating everything from movie soundtracks to diving into other band projects such as Download, platEAU, and Hilt, to name a few. He started his solo journey with 1998’s Music For Cats, which was ironically made, in part, by cats. He would place the cats on the keyboard to see what sounds they would create.
Now he is on his fifth solo adventure, one that is not shy of entertaining experimental grooves. A good yet blatant way to describe Resonance is that it subtly works its way deep into one’s inter-workings, grinding and un-grinding gears into submission. This 12 track album ends with a five minute long title track filled with altered ambience, and solidifying beats leaving the listener with much to swallow as well as explore. But how does it start?
Well, it begins with the dance rhythm of “Thirteen,” a track that kickstarts the heart into an intuitive palpitation stirring up thoughts that crave solutions. Once the initiation process has been completed the album quickly dives into a unique collaboration with Edward KaSpel Industrial and Electronic on the track “Night Flower.” This is a vocal track, and the first step in what seems to become the anti-anxiety healing process. Next is a highly innovative tune called “Anger Is An Acid,” which transitions the listener into a hypnotic trance of reflection and rehabilitation. It is highly-regarded as one of the most calming pleasantries on the album, and it also fluidly transcends into “Orange Dragonfly,” which features scream tracks and some spooky tones that will appeal to any Horror soundtrack lover.
Upon first listen to an experimental Electronic-Industrial album of this nature, it can be underappreciated in the sense that it sounds less layered and complex than it actually is. Upon the next few listens it is concluded that the unique, dark spiritual expedition banks in the complexities of the layering. Picking up on the pace with a more Industrial overtone are the tunes “Dark Trail” and “Tomahawk.” Then the dark and jagged transition out of this vibe begins with “Kullakan,” which is a collaborative work with Soriah.
Then it’s onto some more intensified Key fun with collaborator KaSpel, once again on track “Watching You,” diving deep into the wiring of even the most complex brain turning it into mush in their hands. On to the uplifting end of Resonance, the song with the wonderful title of “Sorry, I’m Going to Think Positive” shines its strong, flickering light towards all those who are ready to absorb it. Wrapping all but the meaning of life into the mix with guest artist Otto Von Schirach, “Third Eye” seems to represent the digital age and its influence on human existence, which often times backfires.
The last year of everyone’s lives has been majorly affected in ways most people have had very much difficulty coping with. What matters in life is sharing positive human connection, which, in terms of live music, is the very thing that has been removed from the lives of kind-hearted souls. Stir that harsh reality in with the mind manipulation of the digital age, and coming up to the three-dimensional surface for air seems hard to come by. The disconnect with reality feeds the surrealism, and when the fuses touch, a spark ignites. It is up to the individual how they process and cope with such shocking long-term changes. cEvin Key is here to help like-minded souls resonate with the musical turmoil he has created, which is the first step to recovery. A deeply meaningful and technically sound album, Cryptic Rock gives Resonance 4.5 out of 5 stars.