Priest – New Flesh

Priest - New Flesh

Album facts

Release: November 17th, 2017
Label: Lövely Records
Genre: , ,
Discogs: Link

A dark surprise

The band 'Priest' is one of the biggest and darkest sur­prises for me this year. The pre­vi­ously released music videos are great, the tracks awe­some catchy, beau­ti­fully dark and the masks of the band mem­bers: A stroke of geni­us. Behind the masks are the mys­ter­i­ously band mem­bers 'Mercury', 'Salt' and 'Sulphur'. Two of them are former 'Ghost' mem­bers who are walk­ing on new paths here.

Now we have the debut album and after the first listen I already had the feel­ing that 'New Flesh' will be at the top of the best albums of 2017. Let's take a ride to the bot­tom­less pits of dark Synth Pop that catches closely the spir­it of Depeche Mode's clas­sic album 'Black Celebration'. And I know, by this sen­tence many DM Fans will hate me.

The ghost rises

It all starts with the song 'The Pit'. The track is a good start to the debut album. A gloomy mid-tempo beat is filled with elec­tric pianos and medi­ev­al organs. These are used very subtly, the sound is very mod­ern and contemporary.

'Vaudeville' attracts a lot in tempo and is best suited for the gloomy disco. Many instru­ments and samples are used in a var­ied way and provide a lot of dynam­ism. The singing is fant­ast­ic! Despite the dis­tinct­ive and recog­niz­able voice, the vocals are incred­ibly variable.

My abso­lute favour­ite is the bal­lad 'History In Black'. The Internet is already spec­u­lat­ing heav­ily on the mean­ing of the song. But I think that the lyr­ics are open enough for their own inter­pret­a­tion and I guess that each one of us reflects a bit in it.

I trav­elled with the enemy,
I thought it was my destiny
I'm free of all the lunacy,
I nev­er want it back
My his­tory in black
Lyric line in 'History In Black' by Priest

A classical spirit

'Populist' starts like an early 'And One' song or at least the track reminds me of one, at least until the use of the vocals. The song seems to have brought his music­al spir­it from the early 90s. It's a cold shiver on my back for this great song, because it seems so incred­ibly famil­i­ar to me, even though I've nev­er heard it before.

Priest - Press photo 2017

80s Synthwave paired with cur­rent Darkwave, that's 'The Cross'. Here we find one of the most catchy track of the debut 'New Flesh'. The track has great hit poten­tial and should not be miss­ing on any DJ playl­ist in the scene with­in the next months.

'Private Eye' unites dark­ness and light. Mix 'Depeche Mode' of the early 80s with the ease of 'Yazoo' and 'Erasure' that you can hear espe­cially in the chor­us. A ton­al com­bin­a­tion you have to love. The love of the 80s floats in the sub­text as well, but without get­ting lost in it.

Another shade of darkness

The 'Nightmare Hotel' sounds quite dif­fer­ent again, because 'Priest' relies on more min­im­al­ism. Nevertheless, it sounds var­ied and very excit­ing. At this point, I would also like to men­tion that I abso­lutely adore all warm ana­log syn­thes­izer sounds so far. The sounds give each song on the 'New Flesh' a beau­ti­ful dens­ity and atmo­sphere.

Also, the song 'Virus' cap­tiv­ates with a beau­ti­ful and catchy chor­us. Vocally, I am reminded here in some pas­sages to Lauri of 'The Rasmus'. This is also a com­pli­ment to the Priest sing­er 'Mercury'. The broad fre­quency spec­trum as well as the ton­al pitches of the vocals all sound excel­lent and punchy.

Creating variety is the biggest talent

Almost in the softer Electropop genre, the track 'Call My Name' drifts around. Without ques­tion, the song is 100% radio-ready and at the same time dark enough not to look like a for­eign object on the album. A really suc­cess­ful bal­an­cing act that 'Priest' knows how to implement.

A fant­ast­ic sym­bi­os­is of gentle vocals, close to the vocal range of 'Fine Young Cannibals' vocal­ist Roland Gift, son­ic­ally cold and mel­an­choly, with the warmth of 70s Space Age futur­ist­ic sounds cre­ates a sound con­struct that seeks its equal. A suc­cess­ful com­ple­tion of this first-class album.

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That's exactly what our scene needs: New Flesh. For me, the debut of 'Priest' is one of the biggest sur­prises of the year. Especially for a debut the styl­ist­ic cer­tainty and high qual­ity are out­stand­ing. Anyone who likes dark Synth Pop should def­in­itely have heard 'New Flesh'. And I hope that the band can be seen at one or the oth­er fest­iv­al in 2018.

'New Flesh' is an abso­lute and unres­tric­ted buy recom­mend­a­tion. That's how Synth Pop from today sounds, it knows the roots and knows how to trans­port them into the mod­ern age. Thanks to 'Priest' for one of the best albums of 2017.

By the way, this album also made it into our art­icle ‘The best Synth Pop and genre-related albums 2017‘. Read now.

Track By Track Rating

Priest - New Flesh
Priest – New Flesh
The Pit
History In Black
The Cross
Private Eye
Nightmare Hotel
Call My Name
History In Black
The Cross
Private Eye
(Nothing to report here)