Image  –  Whispering Sons (reviewed by Dave Franklin)

There is a tendency to talk about such cool, dark and clinical music such as that found on Image merely in relation to a certain circle of bands who, driven by new technologies, new attitudes and new musical visions in the wake of the UK punk explosion, created a sound that reflected their stark, generally northern, surroundings. But such music, such art, such imagery has always feed a certain appetite in modern culture. From gothic romantic poets, Victorian horror novelists, Nosferatu’s black and white film appearance through to the dark Dionysian shamanism of The Doors, the post-punk experimentalist and on into the boom of comic book culture, cosplay and video games, society feeds off of it.

Image is a collection of tribal drums and pulsing bass runs, shimmering, dreamlike guitar riffs and fractured and otherworldly vocals which blend dark psychedelics, gothic bleakness and haunting electronica. A sound track to accompany any one of the media and cultural forms I have previously listed. Alone is a tense and taut squall of guitars and driving bass lines, one that sits on a line that connects back through the likes of Interpol, White Lies and beyond to Bauhaus and Joy Division, and Stalemate is a visceral and prowling sonic beast, all jagged guitars and dystopian alt-disco beats.

Hollow sees them at their most spacious, a song built as much from tense anticipation as it is terse urgency, Waste is a slow burning ballad which builds to crackling crescendos and bone crunching beats whilst Dense feels like a missing track from Bowie’s already iconic Blackstar. 

Whispering Sons are torchbearers for a feeling, a feeling of being scared, abandoned, alone, lost and broken but it is such music that reminds us that we are really none of those things, they explore the pain so that you don’t have to, but they also invoke the hope and relief that follows and perhaps it is only in such bleak and dreaded music…films, books…whatever it might be, that we get to reflect on the positives in our own lives. Perhaps!

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