Philadelphia’s Neon Shudder has new music that just came out on April 13th. His latest full length, Omens III, is available right now on Bandcamp as a “Name Your Price” purchase. Throw Neon Shudder some of your hard earned cash because he’s earned it with this stunning and haunting piece of work. Are you ready to explore Omens III? These woods are dark, but don’t worry, I’ll hold the torch high enough to light the path.
As soon as the album starts you are instantly aware that you’re not listening to run of the mill synthwave. And honestly, calling it just synthwave would be selling Neon Shudder short. Divine Architecture sounds like synthwave as channeled through goth legend Peter Murphy. The Gardens of Madness also continues the descent into the darkness, with rising synths, a terrifying choir, and chaotic drums. It would fit into the soundtrack of any Castlevania game (and that’s a major compliment!). Gaia Fatalis holds the strong goth/synth vibes and also has a great breakdown in the middle of the track that really gets your body moving before closing with an ominous tone. After Dark feels like a warning…that light is fleeing from the darkness and that full night is almost upon us. It’s a perfect slice of darkwave music and really sets the stage for Chronos, which follows it. Chronos has one of the best drum loops I’ve heard, really inspired stuff. The track itself is dark, dark, dark. Full dark, no stars kind of dark. Octopus is a well layered song with another great back beat. Neon Shudder has the drums on lockdown for this album! The song builds on itself very well before fading into the black. Sancta Umbra is a chaotic and uptempo track. There’s a strained hold on reality here…you can feel the doors buckling, but the hinges are just barely holding. The harpsichord outro is pure brilliance. One of my favorite moments I’ve reviewed all year. Ceremony is another bit of darkwave with great Bauhaus-esque percussion…a track that feels out of control but you know it isn’t. Warning Signs is a haunting acoustic song the truly feels like a warning…a beware all who pass through here kind of alarm. The album closes with a super creepy shortwave radio broadcast repeating the title of the song, It Landed Off The Coast, 30 Miles Out.
I love how absolutely dark and ominous this album is. Neon Shudder has created a hybrid genre masterpiece and I will most certainly be exploring this rabbit hole further. Neon Shudder has quite the extensive back catalog and I’m interested in diving deeper into the shadows. Keep your eyes peeled! The next time I talk about Neon Shudder I intend to do so with an interview!