Review from Ave Noctum Webzine

Posted by Nick Skog on Monday, January 20, 2014 Under: Album Reviews
From: Ave Noctum Webzine
Published: January 19, 2014

There’s a clue on Stroszek’s Facebook where it is written that the band’s influences come from “highways, trains, gas stations, hotel rooms”. As you may gather, “Wild Years of Remorse and Failures” is no barrel of laughs, nor is it intended to be. This double album amounts to the re-release of two early albums, an EP “Wild Hunt” and cover tracks of songs by Dick Curless and Townes van Zandt, both originally released in 1968 and neither of which made any distinct impression on me.

This is all ambient, acoustic and personal. The crusty vocals running underneath this melancholic output of the “Remorse” cd are strongly reminiscent of Tiamat’s Johan Edlund. Melancholy and haunting shadows dominate the songs, which here and there burst into rock and threaten intensity but generally rumble along gloomily. The acoustic guitar is played with sensitivity and to be fair there are some lovely patterns. Mostly these songs are in the same vein. Occasionally the quiet and introspective atmosphere is interrupted, as happens on “Stones in my Throat” when there is an inexplicable outburst in harsh German. It’s then back to conventional acoustic rock with “Bury the Bottle with Me”, the 1968 Curless song. Of the “Remorse” collection, “Slow Sleep” impressed me the most with its Floydian pretensions to melancholic intensity. “Wheels to Rust” has a little of the same but generally this is a set of acoustic rock cameos with pleasant structures and unspeakably pained lyrics.

The fourteen songs which make up “Failures” bear a similarity to “Remorses” but are more depressive and sultry. Claudio Alcara, the man behind Stroszek, sounds vocally like Tenhi. The rhythms are delicate and calm but not challenging. The atmosphere cranks up a little on “A Life Failure” and the added acoustic flourish of “Land of Silence and Darkness” has a touch of Opeth. Generally “Failures” ambles on calmly like Tales of the Riverbank, but with a strong touch of gloom. I felt more affinity to the last two or three tracks which had a pleasantly dreamy air.

Although I finally found that I could immerse and indulge myself in this atmospheric and personal work, by the end I’d had enough. It’s all pleasant enough and there are many touches of admirable delicacy but I think you have to be in the mood for all this remorse and failure, and I wasn’t.

Rating: 6/10
Reviewed by: Andrew Doherty

In : Album Reviews 

Tags: stroszek wild years of remorse failures double-album compilation claudio alcara folk dark country acoustic rock melancholic townes van zandt 


 Released: December 7, 2013
500 Copies
Dark Folk / Melancholic Rock