Lorem Ipsum
Vivre encore


4.0
excellent

Review

by checked zapruder CONTRIBUTOR (94 Reviews)
February 3rd, 2021 | 126 replies


Release Date: 01/28/2021 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Bach screaming around the stage.

When a genre has apparently been figured out, where else is there to go?

A) Just follow the greats; if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it!
B) Mimic Orchid, nobody has ever done that before.
C) Stop playing screamo and do some indie music instead.
D) Tear everything to the ground and start from scratch.

Perhaps, upon reflection, Lorem Ipsum are not exactly the trailblazers that I’ve described here, yet it cannot be denied that what the group offers diverges from normalcy in a rather extreme manner. If emo were to truly belong to a category instead of being the overarching label it currently embodies, it would certainly be attributed to the hardcore scene from which it emerged: a landscape populated by stirring guitar melodies, pulverizing percussion, and threatening bass lines. These fundamentals could and have been twisted into different tempos and general presentation, but the lingering truth is that their presence has been guaranteed; a provided emo record from this sphere will possess jagged riffs buttressed by a furious rhythm section. These French gentlemen choose to explore a realm where neither of these supposedly binding rules are adhered to. Gone away is electricity, replaced instead by its antithesis, the band leaping into a time machine that rockets back several hundred years to the domain of classical music. Ferocious passages maintain their poignant stature, though they find themselves supplanted by acoustic counterparts. Leading the charge is a folk-esque guitar and violin, a piano standing in as the role of the drumming. That which was once held as certainty is suddenly upended as the trio’s sophomore effort Vivre encore begins not with an explosion of expected instruments, but a striking violin, melancholic piano, and elegant acoustic contribution, yet still adorned by strained harsh vocals. Placed into a background capable of both serenity and unanticipated vehemence, the Lille outfit construct an alluring contrast, employing the power of their chosen weapons to obtain the atmosphere of emo without its usual suspects making an appearance. What results is a release that is immediately distinguishable from the crowd it emerges from.

The most prominent characteristic of Vivre encore is its vulnerability. Although their chosen instruments are capable of being abrasive, the proceedings of the album are never cluttered, with the robust arrangements providing adequate space for the vocals to be featured and the mood of the tracks to entrench itself. A balanced production that avoids excessive noise minimizes the business in the foreground, which works to the benefit of the band’s approach; the message of the lyricism, combined with the somber compositions, merge to create a thoroughly engaging disc that challenges the notion of screamo as it stands. Rather than delve into personal dilemmas, however, Lorem Ipsum utilize the duration of the LP to weave narratives of bodily failures of both physical and mental nature, delving into reality and fiction to present tales that depict the decay of human souls. How this is portrayed takes the form of numbers that either strike with urgency or bide their time, patiently utilizing crescendos to attain a captivating peak. In this regard, the harsh vocals are a critical factor in cementing the songwriting strengths of the project. To cement the emotional climax of a given tune, the beauty of the classical accompaniments is punctuated by the anguished calls that breathe life into despondent prose. For the more frantic entry “Bienaimé,” with lyricism detailing a man disfigured by warfare, the arresting vocal contribution feels vitriolic, spat out in response to a set of circumstances that have damaged dreams and appearance beyond repair. Intertwined with a foreboding violin and galloping acoustic riff, the voice allows the fear and anger of the writing to shine, deconstructing the spirit in audio. There’s nowhere for the pain to hide when forced to the vanguard, and Lorem Ipsum utilize their core dichotomy—beauty through or in spite of vehemence—to great effect.

Gimmick this is not; the French collective excel at engineering dynamic cuts without relying upon the classical aesthetic or the domain of screamo, managing instead to amass the strengths of both in tight, complex formations. Opening foray “Damoclès” exhibits the mission of the band early on, an ominous piano dancing in the background as the violin melody colors the scene, exercising its broad emotional range to create tension in sudden bursts of energy and equally unexpected moments of restraint, reducing itself to mere scratches as the acoustic strumming builds momentum. Laid on top of the bedlam are the vocals, agonized as always, yelling to reach above the mounting discord. Immediately upstaging this commanding introduction is the forlorn “Andrée,” the piano’s crushing low notes buttressing a melancholic violin that snakes into the scene. A gorgeous solo is born from this depressive environment, its longing palpable and its musicianship commendable. Yet what sells the track is the sudden turn it takes as the attractive becomes menacing. Staccato notes and the addition of the acoustic guitar usher in the vocals, their screams enhancing the dramatic sense the tune exudes once the tempo increases. The classical instruments hauntingly outline the collapse of an individual that is at the mercy of their body’s ailing health, with the cries resonating as a desperate plea for salvation. In both instances, the violin occupies substantial room, its distinctive tone adding an elegance to dreariness. Though less obvious in the mix, the piano is at the heart of nearly each entry, driving the pulse while simultaneously using its echoing keys to instill dread and depression. The guitar, for its part, is a jack of all trades; its folksy textures define multiple songs, yet it just as easily slips into a supporting position, utilizing its ringing chords to augment intensity. All included elements have their chance to flourish in the spotlight, but their cooperation and seamless integration is the more remarkable aspect they obtain.

Where Lorem Ipsum appear to travel is uncharted territory. Screamo as a whole is no stranger to flirting with classical components or toying with evocative melodies. Pledging fully to an approach that excludes the apparent pillars of the genre, however, is a bold move that potentially alienates; it places the typical formulas of both conventions on their heads, taking their cornerstones and actively questioning them. A separation between grace and its opposite is also a familiar concept, yet its execution here is one that attempts to defy rules in an intriguing manner. While exploring the boundaries of that contrast, the band also makes use of the darker timbre of classical, the result of which is far less jarring than what’d be expected. The unyielding advance of “Bienaimé,” what with the marching boots in the background and panicky instrumentation, manages to be at home with the likes of I Would Set Myself On Fire For You despite discarding most of what made that group unique. There are similar connections built in the post-rock endeavor “Patrick,” its twangy acoustic strumming segueing into a rising violin melody. Though battling against the woodwind’s distinguishing sound, the screams, as painful as they seem, mesh amicably with the atmosphere of loss that permeates Vivre encore. It takes the frailty of flesh, interior and exterior, then airs out the faults through what should be sophistication, though it inevitably bears a far heavier message behind the classical veneer. The album deals with loss by toying with expectations around every bend. Trailblazers or not, Lorem Ipsum are upon a route that, to date, has not been voyaged down sufficiently. Wherever they travel next could push the limits of an entire category—with and without its core traits.



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user ratings (23)
3.3
great


Comments:Add a Comment 
MarsKid
Contributing Reviewer
February 3rd 2021


12747 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Not what I expected to hear this year. Classical screamo? Sure, okay then.



Listen on bandcamp: https://loremipsumtrio.bandcamp.com/album/vivre-encore



Two strong emo releases from January to kick off the year. Is this the time when emo rallies back from a down year?

Digging: Hundreds of AU - Acting from Remote Satellites

SteakByrnes
February 3rd 2021


23518 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Woah this sounds like it'd be cool, gonna add it to my list of new shit to check lol rad review as always my man

Digging: Hail the Sun - New Age Filth

MarsKid
Contributing Reviewer
February 3rd 2021


12747 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Appreciate it mate! And it's definitely different, well worth a try.

gravityswitch
February 3rd 2021


513 Comments


My Own Private Alaska new EP and now this, french classical screamo is back baby!
Sounds weird at first listen, I would have loved some drums here and there I think.

MarsKid
Contributing Reviewer
February 3rd 2021


12747 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

It's definitely something that is difficult to get into at first, since it really does mess with expectations. I think the piano substitutes for drumming effectively though.

Project
February 3rd 2021


4814 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I am either going to absolutely love or absolutely hate this, time to find out!



description reminded me of Citycop and that's not a name I've heard in a long time

MarsKid
Contributing Reviewer
February 3rd 2021


12747 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I don't think it's something that could be hated. It's perhaps difficult to get into, but it's well composed in terms of tone, so the harsh aspects aren't out of place at all.

nolerthebowler
February 3rd 2021


8961 Comments


I've been seeing Lorem Ipsum every time I open up Photoshop, they really blowing up

MarsKid
Contributing Reviewer
February 3rd 2021


12747 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Dude epic profile pic, did you know you could unlock Sonic too???

nolerthebowler
February 3rd 2021


8961 Comments


did you know if you input a cheat code (or something it’s been a while) you can play as master hand??

MarsKid
Contributing Reviewer
February 3rd 2021


12747 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Oh well that is actually legit, yeah. I've done that with friends before. It's less of a cheat code and more so an exploit. Forget how it works but it was pretty hilarious lol.



The black hole glitch is another favorite of mine. Game slows to an absolute crawl.

Project
February 3rd 2021


4814 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

oh hey this is actually quite good. need to give it a few more spins to fully appreciate it, but they do a great job of making an acoustic wall of sound for the screams, and I think there's enough variety to go around despite the limited instrumentation.



obviously the language barrier reduces my emotional connection but there's a lot to like here, thanks for spotting this Mars!

rodrigo90
February 3rd 2021


6785 Comments


IMAGINE THE POSSIBILITIES

MarsKid
Contributing Reviewer
February 3rd 2021


12747 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

HOLD DON'T SELL



@Project Appreciate it, thanks for stopping by. It's definitely a unique take on the genre.

Colton
February 3rd 2021


9634 Comments


“Dude epic profile pic”

You both have epic profile pics

MarsKid
Contributing Reviewer
February 3rd 2021


12747 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Michael Weston is my hero and motivates me to stay up on my yogurt consumption.

Colton
February 3rd 2021


9634 Comments


Same. Hoping to surpass him and one day buy a tub of it instead of the individual ones

cvlts
February 3rd 2021


9696 Comments


I know "Emo" and "melodrama" tend to go hand in hand but this shit is something else lol

Digging: Cannibal Corpse - Violence Unimagined

Gyromania
February 3rd 2021


32384 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5

emo and classical? sounds like aids

gravityswitch
February 3rd 2021


513 Comments


Véro is beautiful, and those lyrics are heartwrenching man.
It's starting to grow hard on me.



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