Soulsavers
The Light The Dead See


4.0
excellent

Review

by Raul Stanciu STAFF
June 2nd, 2012 | 25 replies


Release Date: 2012 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Dave Gahan sets his soul free.

As shown on their previous albums, Soulsavers have a knack for creating a setting almost ripped from western movies. Their latest offering, The Light The Dead See, is one of their most compelling works yet, this time being assisted by another tortured soul, Depeche Mode's very own Dave Gahan. This album can be seen as a testament as he joined the dead for two minutes back in 1996 when he overdosed on speedballs. Back then, Dave wasn't a creative force in his primary band to portray his own feelings especially towards his tormented life, but here he is let loose much like on his solo albums. The result is different from Soulsavers' previous albums featuring Mark Lanegan, even if the atmosphere is the same somber and mournful one. While Lanegan's deep voice gave more of a funeral feel, Gahan brings a more preachy tone to his melancholy akin to Depeche Mode's gem "Condemnation". Still, think of this album as a more organic version of DM's underrated Ultra. Martin Gore has the same penchant for blues, but here, Soulsavers complete the setting with beautiful Hammond organ touches, harmonicas, nostalgic strings and gospel choirs giving everything a true American western feel.

There are some gorgeous highlights here that capture the listener's attention at a first listen. For example, first single "Longest Day" finds the band at their preachiest moment: starting with a simple piano line and some bowed strings, Gahan's sensual voice grows and is joined by a gospel choir creating an angelic atmosphere to his own confessions. Everything is simple but very effective, ending up as one of the best tracks in the band's catalogue. Same way goes for "Take Me Back Home", a wonderful ballad, where Dave mourns over a long lost love singing "Where all my stumbling misses/And all your wonderful kisses/That's where I want to be/That's just me". The humming voices backing him up and the Hammond organ make this song feel like it has been sung from inside a church. These songs and pretty much all the album as a whole feels as an honest, naked confession.

There is a lot to love here since the album holds the same formula throughout, but each track tells its own story. Tracks like "In The Morning" and "Bitterman" find Gahan at some of his most sincere and humble moments. The former portrays Dave questioning himself over his love loss, showcasing some of the most honest lyrics on the album (I was dreaming you were right here with me now[...]So I am nothing if I'm not with you), while the latter focuses on himself contemplating on his hedonistic and vice prone nature (There's a face in the mirror/That I don't understand/See the one that I wear is not who I am[...]You're such a bitter man/Doing all that you can/In the name of fun). Everything comes to a better ending with the album closer, "Tonight", where he shows some signs of optimism by admitting that it's not too late for salvation. Of course, everything here is covered ground if taken in account Depeche Mode's lyrical topics, but what makes this a refreshing listen is the music that really suits Dave's voice and lyrics. No matter how personal or fictive his words are, in the end they give the record the spark it needs.

Overall, The Light The Dead See is a great album for both Depeche Mode and Soulsavers fans. There wasn't that much publicity around this release and it feels as if it was overlooked from the start. Nevertheless, it is a great achievement for both parties and everyone should give this a spin.



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Comments:Add a Comment 
insomniac15
Staff Reviewer
June 2nd 2012


3483 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Longest Day - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9rfEas8T6tM
Take Me Back Home - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uJ4YlK7Tz3M
Bitterman - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JjYMO3Y5Tuk


Digging: Brant Bjork - Black Flower Power

greg84
Staff Reviewer
June 2nd 2012


7433 Comments


This is interesting to say the least. Good review!

Digging: Wildbirds & Peacedrums - Rhythm

insomniac15
Staff Reviewer
June 2nd 2012


3483 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Thanks! I was blown away by this album, I didn't expect it to be this good but it rules.

Archelaos
June 2nd 2012


241 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Yeah, this is an excellent record. Good review.

insomniac15
Staff Reviewer
June 2nd 2012


3483 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Thanks man. I can't understand why this didn't get more recognition, especially from DM's fan base.

Archelaos
June 2nd 2012


241 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Agreed! Also, "Still, think of this album as a more organic version of DM's underrated Ultra."

insomniac15
Staff Reviewer
June 2nd 2012


3483 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

When I was listening to this in the past few days I kept thinking this is Ultra 2. But I really dig that album.

CaptainDooRight
June 2nd 2012


30252 Comments


Bro I'm down for blues hard. Gonna check this. Good review too pos.

insomniac15
Staff Reviewer
June 2nd 2012


3483 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Thanks Captain. Recently I saw you reviewing some great material, you've changed your taste. Ufomammut really rules.

CaptainDooRight
June 2nd 2012


30252 Comments


Thanks man. Yeah I've been into everything prog jazz blues psych doom stoner. Haha pretty much everything but trying to single out the best. So much good stuff out there it's crazy man.

insomniac15
Staff Reviewer
June 2nd 2012


3483 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I know, I try to keep up with all the reviews here especially from Paperback, Greg, Voivod, yours lately, ZedO and a few more that review stuff I like or I know I'll like and I have so many bands I've yet to listen to.

CaptainDooRight
June 2nd 2012


30252 Comments


Yeah it's a challenge even for me as well bro. I like to keep a list on notepad or on my iPhone of what I need to listen to and I just check off when I'm done or got the album. That's literally the only way I can keep track of everything. It pays off greatly if they're all managed. But thanks as well for considering my reviews bro.

SgtPepper
Staff Reviewer
June 2nd 2012


4453 Comments


I'll be sure to check this out. good review, POS'd!

jefflebowski
June 3rd 2012


8257 Comments


i always thought 'preachy' was a negative description if anything and referred to rhetoric or speeches rather than music

insomniac15
Staff Reviewer
June 3rd 2012


3483 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I found it in some reviews in the past so I thought it was okay to use it. If I find one of them I'll show it to you.

Also, thanks mods!

Gyromania
June 3rd 2012


15973 Comments


Great work and congrats on the feature!

ZedO
June 3rd 2012


1096 Comments


hm, is this blues? never heard this, 2-3 years ago i was so crazy about this kind of music
pos..

insomniac15
Staff Reviewer
June 3rd 2012


3483 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Yeah these guys are pretty much blues whether the albums with Mark Lanegan or this one with Dave Gahan. This album truly creates a western movie feel (at least for me) it's great. Thanks for the pos!

ZedO
June 3rd 2012


1096 Comments


well i must dig this, sputnik needs more blues stuffs haha, try search kara grainger or joe bonamassa, are they already put in sputnik's database?

kingsoby1
Emeritus
June 3rd 2012


4951 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

will check out, love depeche mode



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