(Twilight Records, 2014)
Day Before Us is a Dark Ambient and Neoclassical project by French musician Philippe Blache, joined on this album by Effrosyni Papamichalopoulou (voices). Philippe has released numerous albums of similar kind of music under this name in the past.
Most of the music consists of haunting and ethereal piano-melodies (leaning towards Classical music above else), and flowing dramatic female singing and spoken parts. While Philippe is responsible for the music and soundscapes, Effrosyni’s beautiful voice and lyrics add to the overall experience tremendously. It is evident Philippe is a trained pianist, just as Effrosyni is a trained singer. At least, I would be amazed if this was not the case.
The album has a very soundtrack-like atmosphere, consisting of clear parts (or acts) merging into songs. Throughout most of the experience, we are veiled in melancholic mist and gentle rain, bluish or black and white in it’s gloom (at least to my soul), falling over forgotten and broken statues and ruins of old Europa. Effects of indeed rain, clanking noises, and slightly noisy grainy ambience merged with the calm and dreamy playing and singing bring the music to the realm of (quite Dark) Ambient, rather than pure Neoclassical music.
The music has a very strong nostalgic feeling, mainly due to the deep sensations and flashes of inner films it produces, but also because it often reminds me of many classic nineties Cold Meat Industry releases. Considering the emotional aspects and the great composition and performance of the music itself (as well as the creation of the general soundscapes), this release is definitely of great quality, especially to those longing for the Dark Ambient aesthetics of the nineties.