Poets of the Fall – Ultraviolet (2018)
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/44,1 kHz | Time – 45:02 minutes | 537 MB | Genre: Rock
Studio Masters, Official Digital Download | Digital Booklet, Front cover | © Insomniac
Ultraviolet opener ‘Dancing on Broken Glass’ is driven by a pulsating keyboard motif and deals squarely with past, present and future relationships, a theme echoed in the next track ‘My Dark Disquiet’, which if possible goes at even faster pace, again heavily keyboard driven and backed with an orchestral sweep and some more suitable background guitar work. ‘False Kings’ has the grandiose scale of an attempt at a Bond theme whilst ‘Fool’s Paradise’ which follows, has the urgency attack of a race car driven by a simple piano triplet and brought back vague memories of an A-Ha chorus. The repeat guitar motif of ‘Standstill’ has been lifted wholesale from the Red Hot Chilli Peppers ‘Under The Bridge’, perhaps deliberately, perhaps not and deals with not taking your chances when they’re presented to you. A lesson we can all learn. ‘The Sweet Escape’ starts with an 80’s synth drum machine and simple guitar picked out through the drum pattern and a building choral background.
And then on ‘Moments Before The Storm’ we finally get a proper guitar solo or two and thank goodness for that! I suspect that played live the song could be epic, it’s got that sort of scale to it. Angel has scale and a structure that is almost Human Leagueish or like some early Ultravox and which pulls you along on a chorus, but it is sandwiched between two songs that a good producer would have left on the cutting room floor because they try far too hard to be worthy and have some cringe worthy rhymes.
Ultraviolet is an album dominated by relationship songs, heartbreak, love and hope for the future. It’s partially a pop album, there’s some rock in it and it’s got prog elements which are comparable to their countrymen the Von Hertzen Bros, but it’s not an out and out rock album. For that you need to go back to ‘Carnival of Rust’.
POTF should be applauded for not simply sticking to what was a winning formula and for mixing styles up but Ultraviolet is an album dominated by the lush keyboards of Markus Kaarlonen whilst Olli Tukiainen’s guitar work has taken a back seat. As ever the vocals of Marko Saaresto soar across the top of the songs, rich chocolate and distinctive, emotive and soulful. POTF seem to have developed a signature of taking a track to full speed then stopping for a short spoken piece before ramping up the pace again. Once is fine, but it’s now a regular occurrence; less is more!
01. Dancing on Broken Glass
02. My Dark Disquiet
03. False Kings
04. Fool’s Paradise
06. The Sweet Escape
07. Moments Before the Storm
08. In a Perfect World
10. Choir of Cicadas