Dead Son Rising by Gary Numan (Machine Music Ltd)
Dead Son Rising is the 16th album by the iconic Gary Numan, and is perhaps his most experimental and remote recording to date. It may take a few listens to fully appreciate the various intricacies presented, but the eventual rewards are vast. Fans of the previous efforts Jagged and Pure are sure to revel within the bleak yet intoxicating masterworks.
First up is the instrumental Resurrection, where the artist is allowed to rise from the grave of abstraction. An ominous reverie that whets the appetite for the shadowy glories ahead. Big Noise Transmissions emerges with its driving beats where the artist eerily speaks of “walking in the shadow of my death.” A potent cut with a grand chorus and some particularly aggressive singing by the Maestro Numan.
The title track commences, where the world-weary narrator cites the marvels he has witnessed, concluding with the mystifying strains of, “And I’ve seen the dead son rising.” The bleak visions continue on an inward spiral with the mesmerizing When The Sky Bleeds He Will Come. “Something falling from heaven, looks like a nightmare, coming to haunt to me,” the lyrics reveal with a horrific sense of unease and regret.
For The Rest Of My Life is an impassioned composition expressing loss and heartbreak that is exquisite and profound. The isolation continues with the somber reprieves of Not The Love We Dream Of, with Numan’s sorrowful vocals and desolate keyboards weaving a poignant tapestry that is absolutely heart wrenching.
The Fall has heavy duty, synthetic dance beats and searing guitars as Numan intensely inquires, “Do you fall like tears on the ocean? Drowning in rage like a poison emotion.” Numan is at his most effective lyrically and vocally, while the song is sure to become a staple in his live set for the distant ages to come.
We Are The Lost is bleak and primal, presenting a sense of chaos and hopelessness. For The Rest Of My Life (Reprise) follows, containing an even more bleak and desolate rendering of the song. Into Battle is an instrumental that leaves a lingering, otherworldly impression on the listener. Dead Son Rising concludes with Not The Love We Dream Of (Piano Version), sending the recording into memory on a dramatic, intriguing note.
The perfect companion for the darkest and manic of nights, Dead Son Rising is a menacing work of artistry that will linger within your psyche long after the disc arrives at its solemn conclusion. Another triumphant collaborative work of Numan and Ade Fenton.
(Review by Kenneth Morton)
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