In a very short time, M83 have released 3 albums, each progressing from the last. Created with mainly keyboards, M83 create a unique sound in that their music is made with electronic instruments but is viewed as through and through rock music. With previous collaborator Nicholas Frogmeau having left M83, there is an obvious change in sound.
Anthony Gonzales - Vocals, Production and Instrumentation
Before The Dawn Heals Us
features a guest bassist, drummer and a range of guest vocalists.
Before The Dawn Heals Us
is a much different album from Dead Cities, Red Seas and Lost Ghosts
. With Anthony Gonzales taking the controls for himself, Before The Dawn Heals Us
may just be the first step in the new direction for M83. The electronic post-rock of Dead Cities
was an excellent sound for just two guys with two keyboards. The problem, of course was that it often drifted into boredom territory. As if they couldn't decide what they wanted to do with their sound, the album was split between M83 sounding like Sigur Ros' soundscapes and M83 sounding like the electro pop of Kraftwerk. Before The Dawn Heals Us
does away with the sound completely. While it is obviously still the same band and the album recalls songs from Dead Cities
such as "Run Into Flowers", "Unrecorded " and "Gone", there is such a large change in sound that it's hard to believe the short amount of time that passed between this album and Dead Cities
. There is less reluctance to use traditional intruments such as guitars, pianos (or at least piano keyboard sounds) and even sung vocals, much of which is done by Anthony himself. "A Guitar And A Heart" is an instrumental rock track with the added electronic influence heard in the keyboards.
M83 have moved to a more indie rock sound with Before The Dawn Heals Us
. First single, "Don't Save Us From The Flames" features a beautiful indie keyboard riff which is backed by heavy guitars and drums. While Dead Cites
was essentially a post rock record, Before The Dawn Heals Us
takes the ideas of the last record and mixes the vast soundscapes with a more palatable indie rock sensibility. While the music is less ambient (by no means has it lost the ambience of the previous record however), there is a lot more to be enjoyed by the average fan who is less impressed by soundscapes. Although tracks such as "Gone" (the obvious highlight of the last record) seem to be missing, Gonzalez does not skip out the beautiful melodies that made Dead Cities
so good. The aforementioned "Don't Save Us From The Flames" has one of the best riffs of the year which is played as a call and response between it and a very soft verse with hushed vocals, courtesy of Gonzalez. While with tracks such as "Teen Angst", he includes the amazing riffs and melodies with more sensible vocals and instrumentation. Other highlights include the chilling "Car Chase Terror!" and the dense and fast "*" which recalls "Unrecorded" from the last record. A welcome comeback is the My Bloody Va1entine style production which gives the album the atmosphere which makes it so good. Fans of Dead Cities
will find much to like, though perhaps wishing for sound more similar to the previous record. Still, the new direction taken by M83 is one that will give them much more success in the future and many more places to go with the music. Another excellent acheivement from a unique artist.
Excellent sound and production
Some really beautiful songs
The new direction could be misinterpreted
Not every track is perfect
Don't Save Us From The Flames
Car Chase Terror!
FINAL RATING: 4/5