Closure In Moscow “Soft Hell”

Artist: Closure In Moscow
Title: Soft Hell
Format: LP, CD, Digital
Label: Bird’s Robe Records 
Distribution: MGM
Genre: Alternative Rock
Release Date: 27/10/2023

Closure in Moscow. They’re back.  It’s been 9 years since the sprawling prog rock concept record Pink Lemonade – 13 years since the feisty up tempo prog punk of First Temple and 14 years since the earnest post-hardcore of their debut albumette The Penance And The Patience.

In the years hence, those milestones have been etched in fans minds as tent poles of the band’s career, which has seemingly lurched on a wide spectrum from post to pillar. But to insiders, the band’s evolution has been a natural process, borne of their desire to express every element of their creativity. Now, in a further extension of that evolution, 12 new songs comprising the album Soft Hell will finally be released in 2023. Where First Temple yearned and Pink Lemonade churned, Soft Hell settles in as perhaps the most mature and studiously crafted album of their career.

Whilst the singles Better Way and Primal Sinister are nods to the sounds and attitudes band’s previous records, once you hit the jungle of sounds on the groove-laden Absolute Terror Field  the down tempo ballad Keeper Of The Lake, the Prince-soul-rock of Holy Rush and the industrial soul of Don Juan Triumphant – you realise, this is entirely new territory for Closure In Moscow. The hooks, lyricism and songcraft take the forefront, whilst the bombast and technical proficiency are channelled into impossibly tasty grooves, guitar & bass solos dripping with juicy goodness and drum fills presented as morsels on an album size degustation menu. The understated musicianship on this material reveals itself on repeated listens.

Don’t get it wrong though – there’s plenty of shred on display. Whether it’s Michael Barrett’s guitar fire vs Salvatore Aidone’s octopus drumming in Better Way or the game of ‘where the 1?’ in the chorus of Holy Rush or the polyrhythmic maelstrom of album opener Jaeger Bomb. Do yourself a favour and keep your finger on the replay button once you hear Barrett’s inspired playing at the end of Lovelash.

It’s not a concept album. Or is it? Frontman Christopher de Cinque is as cryptic as ever on tracks like Primal Sinister. But overall, it’s their most honest and transparent album to date. If you know the story of these songs, it hits even harder. But it’s not hard to be drawn in on just the first listen.

The band comments: “It’s the last 9 years distilled down to 50 minutes. We’ve put blood, sweat and years into this, and fully believe when you hear these tracks, the wait will have been worth it. We know you have to take our word on that for the time being, but the wait is almost over. The new album is called Soft Hell.Getting comfortable with chronic discomfort caused by the choices that fears and trauma lead you to make. This is life in a soft hell. There are enough distractions to stave off facing up to it, you can keep yourself in denial to avoid it, and things can just keep ticking along. Life becomes a fever dream of creature comforts and time killers, floating further into a lake of fire. People come along to pull you out, but they too get burned when you feel too stuck to climb with them.”

It’s been a long wait for fans and a long period of introspection and evolution for Closure in Moscow. But the next phase of the band promises to be one of their most enthralling, as they make plans to share the record, revisit fans around the world and – hopefully – take less than 9 years until the next new music comes around. What’s next? Does it matter? We’re all going to die eventually anyway. Just dive into Soft Hell and let yourself wallow there for a while.

1. Jaeger Bomb    
2. Primal Sinister   
3. Absolute Terror Field   
4. Better Way   
5. Holy Rush   
6. Keeper Of The Lake   
7. Lock & Key   
8. Don Juan Triumphant   
9. Soft Hell   
10. Fine   
11. Lovelash   
12. My Dearest Kate


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