[Reviewed by Peter Marks]
Well now, this is more like it. Dark, forlorn, bitter ah yes I remember now why Deine Lakaien are so good at what they do. Despite their last outing doing little for me, they’ve gotten back into gear. If this is any indication (har har har) of what their upcoming record ‘Crystal Palace’ is going to sound like then Veljanov and Horn have done it yet again. A delicious tale of regret and abandonment, the memories of times long gone; as has become the norm for our duo the emphasis is on majesty gone to the dogs. This first taste of the palace shows it to be a desolate and derelict place looming over a scorned, ruined land.
Veljanov’s voice booms deeply on here while Horn’s arrangements are superb in their elegance. There is no one who sounds like them and thank god they didn’t take so long between releases this time. When they do, something gets lost. Maybe you’re reading this wondering why, why have I never heard them before. Or perhaps you’ve come to know them for their other projects, there’s no denying how good they are on their own but when you put this pair together pure magic happens. Is it over the line to say that? It probably is, the cynical majority of music fans won’t go for Deine Lakaien’s bombastic symbiosis of classical and contemporary influences; you’re missing out because given the dour lead-in this single is, ‘Crystal Palace’ might be the last thing Deine Lakaien do.
I’ve said in the past that Horn was beginning to repeat himself in this project but I’ll be taking that back now, oh sure some familiar touches remain but there’s been an update to his studio or at least he’s found a new way to wring sounds from his arsenal. I’ll say it again, Veljanov is on fire with this one, he’s pushing himself vocally and is not the resigned, jaded sounding guy he was on ‘Indicator’. The music he’s given to sing over is some of the best Ernst has composed to date, it harkens back at times to their massive hit from 1999 “Return” but he throws in an armful of jarring noises and percussive stabs to keep it unpredictable. Oh, and those multiple progressions he’s so known for aren’t hiding. Explosive stuff from your servants.
Bring on the album.