Vio\ator - “Solitude” Album review
by, Quinn Clearwater
“I’m not your lover/I’m just your victim” croons Tyler King, vocalist and producer of bay area based one-man darkwave/industrial fever dream Vio\lator. “Your Victim” was the first single from the sophomore production from Vio\ator “Solitude”; a collection of brooding and sinister, yet gentle and contemplative darkwave tracks that are sure to excite and entice the listener at every turn. When I first heard “Your Victim” I was instantly hooked and knew I had to reach out to King to review his new record. Thankfully he agreed and I have had the album on repeat ever since.
The album opens with “The Beginning” a track whose heavily processed arpeggiated synth lines flirt with primal and heavy industrial percussion fronted with the melodic and numan-esque vocals of King that help establish a sonic theme that persists through this very cohesive album on the following tracks.
“Not Here” is a chaotic ballad about feeling invisible to the world around you, and learning to cope with that feeling. A throbbing post punk rhythm accompanied by angry and screwy guitar lines make the chorus of this song a thing of cathartic aggression.
The following song “Nothing Left but To Heal” features ghostly and spacey guitars by none other than Ivan Delint of Warsaw Pact, one of LA’s finest up and coming post punk acts. The chemistry between Delint’s contribution backed with the production of King makes this song a truly beautiful moment of melodic tenderness on an album punctuated by industrial aggression. “The world got worse when I was sleeping/It’s like this every night” This song really channels the feeling of being in a dream you don’t want to wake from, though we are inevitably pulled from only to feel the coldness of reality on the other side.
In “Your Victim”, the first single from Solitude, we have an uptempo post punk banger laced with classic gothic overtones with “Pornography” era cure atmospherics and guitars over heavy, groovy beats that take the listener through the verses and choruses. This song is my personal favorite on the album, I love the catchy refrain “I’m not your lover/I’m Just Your victim//Those were the last words she said to him” The way the groove switches up in the chorus in such a seamless way makes this song accelerate in a glorious fashion.“Goodbye” and “The End of Everything” find King saying goodbye to the past and to past lovers with a fantastic and soaring duet from none other than Leah Lane of Rosegarden Funeral Party on the latter.
“Charade” and “Metallic” bring the record to an earth shattering close, with “Charade” bringing the aggression back into the fold, for one of the darker and more chaotic moments on the album, perfectly setting the stage for the sweet and eerily tender album closer “Metallic”. An introspective bassline and jittering synthesizers with a classic post punk beat escort the listener through the final movement on “Solitude”, a perfect bow to an album which shows King coming into his own as a multi faceted producer and singer in a way we haven't heard before, and if this album is any indication of Vio\ator’s future endeavors, we are in for one hell of a ride.
Viol/ator - “Solitude” is out everywhere on October 1st Via Young and Cold Records.