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ALBUM REVIEW: Ineffable – Merge

French Alt Rock outfit MERGE are back with their second album, Ineffable. Having already created a unique place for themselves within the music scene with their debut full-length album Elysion, the guys have truly upped their game, expanding their sound and their ideas.

Starting out, The Exit is a belting first track, reverb allows the track to open up. Vocally, the echoes and the quieter moments are the best, they bring a sincerity that draws you straight in. The electronic elements over the very solid Alt Rock sound is just great. Equally, The Password follows a similar vein in terms of sound- this is heavily due to the synth elements, but there’s a little more boldness in this one than before. A clear confidence not only through the music but in themselves here, it’s a very solid track. Soaring does what it says on the tin. Imagine a more MUSE feel here, along with something like old PARAMORE or YOU ME AT SIX. Its passionate, and ever expanding upwards in its energy.

There’s definitely a more ethereal feel to the next track Ineffable. Overall, the track names do a beautiful job of summing up the feeling from the song, both in terms of its sound, which is soft but hiding something harder, and the lyrical content. MERGE have managed to balance good song writing, with enough room for their music in itself to be heard. Nothing is compromised, everything folds naturally.

Mirage is somewhat more melancholy than what has come before, swaying towards keys and a more synthetic feel overall. It’s nice, but maybe a little too wishy-washy for this album; there’s a potential for this one to get lost. Blood Stream brings back in the rising energy, the fun factor is way up here. Expect a crowd to well and truly go for it in this one. Helene is again softer, but this time there’s a little spark underneath that somehow keeps the whole things aloft. The sense of dark and light is a big thing here, you could honestly listen to this in any kind of mood.

A cover of TWENTY ONE PILOTS’ Heathens, while very nice, doesn’t really add anything that the original doesn’t already do, aside from substitute drums and axes for pianos and orchestral strings.

Recovery brings us in with a great drum intro, and you know it’s ready to beat itself into your head and stay there for a good long while. MERGE are best when they put their own style first, mixing vocal styles, with echoes and heavy electronic feels that make the Rock elements feel all the bigger. Face It Now is the sort of tortured song you need after a really bad week or breakup. Honestly, it’s got a lot of The Kill by THIRTY SECONDS TO MARS running through it. Take that as you will.

The finale of the album, In Details III is five minutes of genuine, honest instrumental. While you could argue that this is a bit weak for a last track, it ends things just perfectly. Just the right amount of all the contributing factors in MERGE’s sound. There’s a feeling of hope, a feeling of loneliness and yet always a feeling that there’s a need for expression here. All in all, this is a wonderful album with great spirit, that’s never afraid to stand on it’s own or to try new things. MERGE, you have done well.

Rating: 8/10

Ineffable - Merge

Ineffable is out now via self-release.

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