Third Realm: “The Suffering Angel” eclipses all expectations

21 Aug 2017 by staff in Reviews
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Recently signed to Distortion Productions, Third Realm is the eclectic dark electronic project founded in 2000 by Nathan Reiner of Buffalo, New York. The danceable darkwave band with powerful industrial tones, is known for their shadowy, sexed-up blend of synth rock and intense vocals. On their brand new album, “The Suffering Angel”, the collective spends half the time perfecting their gritty, driven sound and the other half eclipsing all expectations of their efforts. The result is an intense listen with tremendous highs, and outstanding performances by members, Nathan Reiner (Lead Vocals/Music Production/Songwriter), Arrow Fitzgibbon (Guitar/Keyboards/Backing Vocals/Sampler), Melanie Beitel (Keyboards/Backing Vocals) and Mike Reiner (Live Drums).

Right from the start on the up-tempo “Prisoners of Life”, Reiner’s creepy, determined vocal is as fantastic as ever over a boiling bass line and thrusting synth, quickly setting the fierce tone of things to come. The grubbier the music and more intent the vocals, the better Third Realm sound here, with the rumbling bass dripping through a smacking beat and loosely flung synths examining the feeling of destructive power on “Bringer of Evil”, full of quivering words, whispered thoughts and wrath strewn about. The grimy, grubby rocker delivers exactly what you want from this band.

The music’s thick, grinding tendencies continue to build on “Last One Standing” and “Command and Conquer”, before stepping down a pace on the almost funky “Neon Lights”. If you like pure slow burning power, a captivating rhythm, and eerie, atmospheric emotion, tune into “Behold the Dreamers”, and turn it up loud. Then multiply that same emotion tenfold on the title track, “The Suffering Angel”, with all its lurid and murky mastery.

This album brims with powerful, all-absorbing industrial constructs but what Third Realm has achieved here through lusciously layered electronic structures is make their source material more readily readable to the conscious mind. And none more so on the melodic ballad “Longing for the Past”.

One of the joys of listening to this album was reaching for the dance-floor darkwave of “Wake Up”, then falling into the slow slumber of “Indigo” and then resuscitating my spirits with the rhythm of “Black Hearts”.  While the majority of their industrial brethren have faded, are dying of natural causes, or have somehow managed to stick around way past their welcome, Third Realm stay consistent and relevant.

And its due to killer up-tempo songs like “Closing Time”, but also to how this band can totally flip the coin and deliver delicate, introspective soundscapes that worm their way into your subconscious in the most graceful but penetrating way – such is the awesome power of “Somber Reflections” – the quietest song on the entire album!

I will stick my neck out and say that “Somber Reflections” is one of the very best tracks in the entire Third Realm catalog. Why? It’s easier to put together grinding, bombastic songs that grab attention. Slower, minimalist tunes, leave little or no space for error, where every musical and vocal inflection, or nuance, is audible.

To captivate your audience, you need near perfection – in composition, production and execution. Nathan Reiner and Third Realm absolutely kill it on this one! The album, “The Suffering Angel”, is a bold and compelling addition to the group’s growing legacy, and one that’ll likely prove to be among their most enduring.

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