TourdeForce – Vargtimmar | Review by Alien E Zine

by Ján Peter Háber  | Feb. 22, 2021 |


Christian Ryder is not a novice with his TourdeForce project. He founded the band in 2004 in Bergamo, Italy. I admit, Vargtimmar was for me the album thanks to which I have found out about this project. At first listening, I had a feeling that I am more listening to a compilation then to regular album. It is one of those attempts where almost every song is different. However, when you start to listen deeper, you’ll find uniform synthetic elements and you’ll see a complex image. Synthwave with electrowave fluently transitions from futurepop all the way to EBM. Their turn will get hard guitars, a romantic piano with strings, almost a rap and other surprises. Everything combines melancholic singing and atmosphere. The lyrics are all except of one all in English. One song was sung in German (in northern Italy, there is a German speaking region, although I am not sure if it’s near Bergamo), a little Italian accent is heard in it. Italy could be felt in music from all over Vargtimmar, returning to the response to the rich synthesizer dance tradition of ItaloDisco. The recording also contains a fascinating paradox. On the one hand, it offers everything that a true fan of alternative dark pop likes, and on the other hand, can never be sure what will jump on him. It can freely be a terrorist or a vampire. This is not self-determing, no element is by accident. Often is dramatically repeated at least twice. Chrystian has invited several guests, mainly female vocalists. They add spices to the songs in the form of dreamy elements. And it is only at the listener, who decide what are they reminding him of. Does Trent Reznor, Garry Newman, Black (Colin Vearncombe), the Ministry, the Front Line Assembly, or some out of genre like Rotersand or VNV Nation, or mesh in its best forms. The palette is varied, but it can be, that not everyone will like all the songs. Have I mentioned almost aggrotech reminiscence of classical music? No? Could I only have visioned it? It’s only up to you. Genre puritans (of any genre) probably won’t digest newest TourdeForce. But if you are looking for an album where you will find hidden gems even after years and you are not limited to one particular style, then this album is just for you. You can freely add half a point to the final rating. If this exchanging bothers you, that you can add half a point less, but the album will not lose anything by it. High quality and processed production could be implemented with ideas in several rock albums, through industrial, metal and electro. Some melodies (mainly from the choruses) is hard to get out of your head and you will be transferred back in time. Beside the notorious 80’s, the CD offers a visit to the 90’s, which is in a dark pop rarity. The variety of styles has a different advantage. The boredom or repetitiveness are avoided here. The cherries on the cake are multi-colored texts and a few samples. Except Ryder’s feelings, they reflect today’s deconstruction of social and society relationships in today’s world. Another aspect that adds a value to the latest TourdeForce. Is that what many others do? It doesn’t matter, reflections and the search for truth are never enough. And nowadays it pays for itself. There are also other things. It is about sincerity, sincerity to yourself and to the world around. For some, this may be naive, but don’t get mistaken – it is about sincerity. And about that beautiful heart that can be heard for an hour from all thirteen songs. I recommend it to all romantic, opened dark souls and their ears.
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