Lana Del Rabies - Strega Beata
Mar 17, 2023
Very solid foundation with no development in the lane it sets itself up in.

I had to check this out, seeing this artist's power noise and death industrial tags as well as the artist's hilarious name, but man did this thing run out of steam fast. The first leg of tracks had some really interesting ideas and sonic palettes to mess around with, but they never deviated or experimented with anything that made it feel particular or signature. The avant-garde industrial percussion on "A Plague" was something I initially felt a little hesitant towards, expecting a much more haunting and sinister backdrop for this album, but as we continued onwards and got stuck in the middle with drone/dark ambient pieces like "Mourning" that felt like they lasted for an eternity, I started to appreciate the power noise and electronic aspect of this record far more than the vocal or atmospheric elements, both of which had more than enough time to develop into something interesting but failed to for me.

Speaking of vocals, that is by far my biggest takeaway from this record: I absolutely hate the production and mixing on her vocals. When done well, her voice sounds good, but through the distorted or muffled effects as well as the vocals always being shoved into the back of the mix on every single track, it feels like there's not even a point in trying to listen to the words or care about the vocal performance at all. As someone who doesn't really find the ambience or atmosphere emotionally effective or moving in any way, there was a change in my focus as I further wanted to hear what the lyrics were describing as mentioned on her Bandcamp, this is a loose concept album. Thankfully, the lyrics were added onto the track links on that page, because otherwise I would NEVER be able to guess a single word uttered with 100% confidence throughout the entire album. Along with the vocals, reading the lyrics made me feel that some aspect of this concept is completely lost as the lyrics seem to be very poetic and visceral, but being mixed and produced in a way where you can't discern anything makes it feel like the point of these words are completely gone. This would probably function better for a concept record if the album was instrumental and each track has a piece of poetry accompanying it.

The cover of this record is so elusive and sleek, but the product behind it feels very messy. At its best, it does well, but at its worst, it's a snooze fest. This also isn't to discredit this medium of music where the harsh and abrasive walls of sound matched with words or depictions of something traumatic or harrowing are meant to provoke some type of reaction or attention, but this album doesn't stick with me artistically or narratively in any way whatsoever. It doesn't do the style a disservice by being annoying, gimmicky, or even offensive through its content or quality, but it does do so by taking a very dense soundscape and never giving it the chance to grow or evolve into something thought provoking or memorable.


Prayers Of Consequence - 65
A Plague - 70
Master - 65
Mother - 75
Grace The Teacher - 75
Mourning - 25
Hallowed Is The Earth - 60
Reckoning - 40
Apocalypse Fatigue - 55
Forgive - 55

Favorite Tracks: Grace The Teacher. Mother
Least Favorite: Mourning

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