Shadows & Mirrors, a dark electronic rock/synth group are currently producing their first album. They have just released the first single “Pendulum” from their forthcoming self-titled EP. All lyrics and music are written and recorded by Brian Diamond.
I’ve been following the dark electronic rock scene since the 80’s and the vast majority of the music consists of tacky vocals, lyrics that could be written by a chimpanzee, or music that sounds like it’s produced on a $20 keyboard. If you’re lucky you can find a band that can master one or two of these areas. Shadows & Mirrors stands out far from the rest because they are the rare band able to master it all.
The vocals fit the music. The music whether soft or hard is full and powerful and emotional ranging from ethereal to strobe-light stomp. Like Depeche Mode, the lyrics set Shadows & Mirrors apart from anything else. Electronic music is capable of expressing a variety of moods and atmospheres. The more you listen to “Pendulum”, the more you come to appreciate how Shadows & Mirrors explores those elements.
The song takes hold from the start and doesn’t let go; typically aggressive, but not gratingly so, the song drives forward with an absolutely epic sound. Shadows & Mirrors sound like a mixture between Industrial, dark synth-pop and orchestral influences.
The Industrial element is the percussion and basslines, which are deep, harsh and raw. Such savagery requires an element of melody to balance it, and this is done perfectly with the dark synth-pop leads. Furthermore, the structure of the music is very orchestral, bestowing upon it the epic nature that makes this song so unutterably breathtaking. The vocal style is also perfectly suited to the music and lyrical subject matter.
Shadows & Mirrors have certainly mastered the balance between melodic songwriting, harsh rhythms and symphonic ambience. And there can be no denying the intense melodicism and energy that is present in much of it.
The interesting thing about “Pendulum” (and Shadows & Mirrors in general) is that while much of the music possesses obvious electronic pop sensibilities (familiar chord-progression patterns and common rhythms, for example) the music never becomes accessible enough to qualify as pop.
Have you ever heard a song that you just feel you have to turn up full blast, close your eyes, lay back and listen to? The kind of song that makes you feel like you’re floating or flying or spinning in circles non-stop? “Pendulum” is beautifully written, produced and performed to achieve that very effect!
For someone wanting music that can play on all electronic fronts, no matter the subgenre tag, this electronic work is highly recommend. There is something expressive and magnificent within this dark electro piece. “Pendulum” actually has quite a few emotive rainbows worth listening to, and in a time of meaningless electronic noise, well worth pondering introspectively!