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A synth rock artist hailing from Zurich, Switzerland, Verena von Horsten conveys subjects in her music that are usually otherwise private or taboo in an exposed and confessional manner, and her second album, Alien Angel Super Death, is nothing different. A deeply personal album revolving around the suicide of her brother Hakon, it bravely externalizes what is typically a very intimate grieving experience in an attempt to get society talking more openly about suicide and its causes. In line with albums from artists like David Bowie and Björk, Alien Angel Super Death is a total work of art—a complete synthesis and realization of concept, sound, mood, and emotion.
There’s no denying the album is a heavy listen—from the Industrial Depeche Mode noises and percussion on “The Hymn” to the ice cold chilliness of “Sweet Lullabye”—but Verena von Horsten manages to make it a listening experience that is also deeply melodic and increasingly beautiful with each listen, including subtler, atmoshperic songs like “All About” and “The Monster.” Alien Angel Super Death, simply put is a tour de force of emotion and execution. It doesn’t willingly give away much at first, but it generously rewards listeners who readily approach it with complete emergence.
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