Review Summary: Cicatrice foreshadows what great things are to come, by a promising artist full of potential.
Univers’ first published solo effort, Cicatrice, is meant to be a minimalist dark rock release built upon black metal. A 2-song demo, most listeners will find themselves having a preference for the second track, Shallow, as opposed to the more repetitive, darker and less accessible Life in a Bottle.
The opener starts off with a simple bass guitar riff accompanied with ambient sounds and background growls. The drums, constant throughout the song, are simple but well-executed. The vocals, while they are not understandable to the slightest, give a great atmosphere to the song. However, Life in a Bottle, using the same bass riff over and over, might get boring to some. Nevertheless, there’s still a nice feel to the track, which has a nice evolution from the beginning to the end. 3/5
The true potential of this demo, though, lies in the follower to LIAB, Shallow. This song demonstrates great melody from start to finish, alternating between two main riffs. The drums, as clean and repetitive as on Life in a Bottle, are slightly more complex, and the vocals are much more emotionally felt. For example, we can feel Univers’ pain and depression in the chorus, “Hold me where it’s shallow”, or in the bridge where his screams stand out. The bridge itself with the change of riff and melody, added to the drums getting heavier and using crashes, and the end of the song in general, make the listener believe there’s no happy ending, and everything leads to sufferance one way or another. 4/5
Overall, Shallow shows what Univers is capable of creating, and gives a hint to what’s to come. Hopefully, he decides to head into this direction and produces other inspiring, emotional and soul-driven dark rock music, with influences from different genres.