With the likes of Bruce Springsteen, Primal Scream, Klaxons, Peaches and Iggy all contributing cover - version tributes to celebrate Alan Vega's 70th, and Suicide's recent ATP NY performance finding them acclaimed as the oldest and most extreme of the festival's 39 participants, the original techno-punk duo's influence still resonates through rock'n'roll.
And each can still throw the unexpected curve-ball, as this latest offering from Vega's synth-bothering partner Martin Rev demonstrates. Instead of Suicide's familiar proto-electro chug, Stigmata finds Rev in unexpectedly religious mood, wielding a string synthesiser through a series of vamped instrumentals of churchy tone and ambience, the huge cathedral-sized reverb bringing a sombre mood to tracks such as "Laudamus", "Te Deum" and "Sanctus". In places, the strings are joined or replaced by harp arpeggios, restrained woodwind pads, syncopated horn stans and the occasional ghostly vocal syllable. Much of it sounds like the soundtrack to a Dan Brown movie, with a sense of cloistered intrigue; the main exception being "Spiritus", where the pastoral blend of twittery woodwind, celesta and harp conjures up glistening icicles. It's as weird as you'd imagine, but in a weirder way than you'd expect from an industrial-rock pioneer.
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