The last time we checked in with Victor Buell IV, the Vinz Clortho leader was getting down—real low down—with a winning cover of Sheryl Crow’s “If It Makes You Happy.” The song was eventually included on Vinz Clortho’s equally winning Fool’s Paradise II EP. But that was way back in August 2020—what has VBIV been up to since the already crummy world, incredibly, has gotten even crummier? He’s crafted a moody, synth-drenched, largely instrumental solo album that perfectly scores our hellish times, of course!
True, Fallen Angels isn’t all dystopian doom and gloom, but things certainly start out that way. Opener “Descent” is a grim wash of menacing synth and Fire Walk With Me samples. The title track is a deliberately more radio-ready concoction (and comes complete with vocals from Buell), but it still evokes a dreamy middle-ground between a lonely highway and a neon cityscape. The excellent one-two punch of “Vice Night” and “Star Lord” continues that pattern.
Happily, things take a turn for the more serene in “Void” and “Solace.” And by the time the sun comes up in aptly named closer “The Sunrise At Dawn,” there’s even a little acoustic guitar to lighten the mood. Phew. All in all, it’s quite the journey.
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