In Strict Confidence – The Hardest Heart

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Catchy, conventional but still not conformed

I already have listened to some 'In Strict Confidence' albums before. but I nev­er had such easy access to their music before. Maybe this is the most catchy and con­ven­tion­al ISC album ever.

But nev­er­the­less, 'The Hardest Heart' is a gloomy Darkwave album. So no worry, you don't have to expect the typ­ic­al radio easy-listen­ing factor. Enough of fore­play, let's find out what you can expect.

Incredibly multi-layered and varied

The open­er is unfor­tu­nately not a parade example of how to open such a great album. This is only one of the few cri­ti­cisms I have. The song 'Frozen Kisses' is really fant­ast­ic, but as an entry into the album is not mean­ing­ful enough. The song sounds a bit too mono­ton­ous and does not reflect the album in its entire splendor.

Instead, the second song 'Everything Must Change' is a real high­light on the album. This track is very elec­tron­ic­ally based on EBM beats. In addi­tion, this is one of the biggest poten­tial club hits on the album, so I put this gigant­ic song in my new Mix 'Pitch Black Discoteque'.

Also very strong, but essen­tially quieter, 'Somebody Else's Dream' flat­ters us. The elec­tron­ic part is very subtle in this song and sounds famil­i­ar with a typ­ic­al clas­sic Darkwave song, which has always been in the heart forever.

It's always nice to be reminded of something familiar

The slant­ing viol­ins and elec­tric gui­tars in the intro of the fab­ulous 'Destroy Something Beautiful' reminds me in some ways of Marilyn Manson's long-play­er 'The Golden Age Of Grotesque'. The use of the deep and scratchy voice rein­forces this impres­sion. I simply love this song!

The first German track 'Herz' (Heart) also reminds me of an album, which I love very much. It catches beau­ti­fully the over­all mood of the L’Âme Immortelle's album 'Auf dein­en Schwingen'. A really beau­ti­ful and pro­found song that deeply touches me.

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ISC promo photo 2016

Always new surprises and twists

An almost epic anthem is 'Land Of God', which is char­ac­ter­ized above all by its acous­tic dynam­ics. The entrance in the chor­us sounds sub­lime and simply fantastic.

Strong elec­tron­ic sounds return with the track 'Doublefaced'. In addi­tion, the song is par­tic­u­larly impress­ive by the voice of Nina de Lianin. This extends the album to anoth­er great vocal and variety.

Consistent level until the end

The second German song 'Letzter Wille' (Last Will) is really a very sad bal­lad, with which I myself had to leave a few tears. Perhaps I rate this track a little bet­ter than I would usu­ally do with a piano bal­lad, but since the song doesn't leave me cold for per­son­al reas­ons I like to give 4 stars.

'Ask Your Soul' includes the most typ­ic­al Synth Pop song struc­tures. Due to the gloomy voice of Dennis Ostermann, the song gets a quite dis­tinct note.

The last song "Coming Closer" has almost the same Synth Pop coat­ing with a slight 90s touch. And again it's the extraordin­ary voice of Nina de Lianin that puts the fin­ish­ing touches on the album..

A bright result for a dark album

I think that it is almost unne­ces­sary to say that the album con­vinced me com­pletely. I guess I will listen to this album often in the future. You should also do so if you are a fan of Darkwave mas­ter­pieces, because 'The Hardest Heart' is one of these.

By the way, this album also made it into our art­icle ‘The best Synth Pop and genre-related albums 2016‘. Read now.

Track By Track Rating

In Strict Confidence The Hardest Heart
In Strict Confidence – The Hardest Heart
Frozen Kisses
Everything Must Change
Somebody Else's Dream
Destroy Something Beautiful
Time
Herz
Land Of God
Doublefaced
Letzter Wille
Erde Ade
Ask Your Soul
Coming Closer
Recommend
Everything Must Change
Destroy Something Beautiful
Land Of God
Weak
(Nothing to report here)
3.9
Fabulous

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Frozen Kisses
Everything Must Change
Somebody Else's Dream
Destroy Something Beautiful
Time
Herz
Land Of God
Doublefaced
Letzter Wille
Erde Ade
Ask Your Soul
Coming Closer
Final Score