You may recall my post of April 6th, 2011 introducing Afterlife Parafe and their debut EP, 'Death'. I'm pleased to announce that I have since had a listen to the second in the two-part album offering, Death's proceeding partner 'Rebirth'. As explained in the previous post, 'Death' sought celebration in the passing of life and explored the emotions connected with this, so naturally the second-part of the album focusses on rebirth.
As you might expect, Rebirth is the exact opposite to Death in every way, including the arrangment and musicality of the tracks. 'Black Woods, White Beach' features a wonderfully uplifting chord-progression and folk/dance/electronic feel. Quinn Erwin's airy vocals are as present and strong as before, whilst the track builds and falls often with a great groove behind it. Soaring vocals and light, ascending melodies are prominent and help to lift the song, reflecting the positive message that Rebirth hopes to bring.
Another track on the EP, Cincinnati, is as equally uplifting and feel-good. The entire concept behind the album is interesting and quite original, to reflect life and death in such a way musically and lyrically. Cincinnati has a great driving pop-rock groove and feel to it throughout, lifted with synth sounds and assuring vocals. The track is fairly average sounding, in that it might not stand out on the radio, but it definitely wouldn't be out of place either; a perfectly-suited radio-friendly pop-rock track. Strangely the hi-hats are high in the mix and hog a lot of the sound-output; I found their level a little distracting in the final chorus as it drew my focus away from the lead vocals but this might be more the opinion of a drummer rather than a music reviewer! Either way, a safe but confident track.
Creating a concept-album with such differing sounds and themes is an extremely brave move; if fans latch onto your retrospective sound and regard you as a dark and soulful artist, they might hate the very opposite of what they loved about you if you counter all of your ideas and overall sound. It's a matter of taste, but I think it's a great idea and works really well. Rebirth is available now on iTunes and Afterlife Parade are on Facebook.