Updated date:

Dark Synthwave Album Review: "Seize The Night" by L A Z E R L V S T

Author:

Karl loves food, writing, and writing about food. He has been doing so for over 10 years!

dark-synthwave-album-review-seize-the-night-by-l-a-z-e-r-l-v-s-t

Initial Impressions

L A Z E R L V S T’s Seize the Night is a dark journey through a gritty city that is haunted and stalked by something evil. It’s full of shadows, hard edges and the feeling of imminent and ominous danger generated by a wide variety of synths that interact in interesting ways, absolutely aggressive drums and abyss-deep bass along with an overall feeling of cavernous space opening around all of the other musical elements.

One of the strong points of Seize The Night is its ability to generate atmosphere through music. It combines sweeping guttural synth sounds that flow through each piece of it, the extremely deep bass that moves in many of the tracks and the pervasive feeling of lurking threat that comes from nervous, high sounds fluttering through along with black shadows that well up underneath them to produce the constant sense that a Very Bad Thing is waiting to strike at any moment.

The raw aggression on some of the tracks of this album is another strong feature of the music. In between battering drums and sepulchral bass, there’s a feeling of terrible urgency that rises in the listener as the drums drive onward and the bass has a thick weight to it that tugs down on the soul. The sensation of danger rushing upon me is something that I feel grab me and yank me headlong into engaging with the music.

Just as effectively, there are moments of sadness brought by surprisingly delicate synths playing melodies that ache and yearn on Seize The Night. To me, they gave off a profound sense of loss and emptiness, almost reflecting the feelings of the imagined citizens of this world who have lost friends in their struggle with this unspeakable evil that surrounds them.

The production choice to give this album a feeling of moving through vast open space allows all of the sounds to occupy a stage that only intensifies the darkness and weight of shadows that move around each element of the tracks.

My Favourite Tracks Analyzed

“Remnants” starts with computerized bleeps and an expanding feeling of darkness and openness as a growing, edgy synth cuts in. Quick, arpeggiating notes expand into the music and that deep bass throb begins to increase in intensity until the drums launch with manic energy and a deep throb of bass further increases the sense of forward motion.

Washes of warm synth climb with the flying lead synth melody as it rises energetically through the track. There’s an engaging complexity and an interlocking feeling to melody of the lead synth. The darkness that rises into the track has hard edges to it and chimes with a vaguely creepy quality brush the ears before there’s a break into a threatening void and a swell of high, tense synth slowly floats into the depths around it.

A quick synth oscillation grows in energy as the drums charge behind it. A sense of something ominous looms to fill each corner of the track now and that jagged synth pulse is joined by swirling expanding arpeggios before the lead synth melody comes in again.

Solid, powerful drums and bass propel “Seize The Night” forward as nervous waves of high synth notes move in along with a breathy sweep of air. Tense, brittle lines of brightness spin into the music as a medium high, dense synth plays a melancholy melody.

The thick slab of bass and drums moves under shifting, bright synths as the shadows grow into the track. I enjoy the contrast of the shining notes over the dark winds that sweep through the music. The drumbeat changes as a repeating pattern of rising synth, touched with sadness, moves into the track.

“Into Oblivion” comes to life with a rumble of bass and the sound of sirens. It’s joined by a rapidly pulsating throb of dark, hard-edged synth while the beat moves behind a dynamic, expanding wall of sound. A pattern of tense notes explodes from tightly wound synths as they launch over the relentlessly driving beat.

Portentous synth chords move into the track. There’s a feeling of darkness seeping from the seething sounds of this track that I find quite compelling. A computerized, high, nervous g synth plays a broken, wandering melody that has a feeling of loss seeping from it as the beat pounds onwards. The music pulses out into open space now as something warm and distant rises into the track, making the darker sounds underneath feel even more threatening.

Shining arpeggios and a buzzing synth that slices into the music in rough edged patterns kicks off “Howl of the Nightcrawler” as a heavy drumbeat and swirling winds of sound move over the steady kick drum. The growling, rocking lead synth melody cuts into the music as rising, pipe organ-like notes climb underneath it.

Bursts of higher notes shift and flicker over harsh pulses of gruff sound as the battering percussion continues to shove the track onward. A worried sounding arpeggio arches into the music as the aggression and grunt of the synth moves through all the tension around it.

There’s a bit of a rest as the arpeggios move into open space but the drums re-assert themselves quickly. I find the arpeggios that feel like a warning compelling they tensely tell you not to look to deeply into the darkness that swells through the music.

“Kill City Blues (feat. A New Hope)” opens with a rapid, pounding beat and deep harsh growls of bass. Fast lines of shifting synths lacerate the track as all of the sonic elements swell with great weight and strength.

A Stygian pulse of bass groans under charging drums that slam into the track as a synth section with a melancholy ache to it comes in to contrast nicely with the darkness all around it.

There’s a guttural and attacking feeling to this track, an aggressive energy that permeates every aspect of it while more positive sounding synth chords climb in, contrasting with the weight under them, not entirely without a sense of hope.

Sepulchral bass and a wash of unsettling sounds drift through the vast void around them to start “Cryptwalker” off as harsh pulses of synth and a slightly uneven beat kick into the music. A minor key melody played on a distinctive synth moves on top of the beat that pulsates under it.

I like the chiming sounds that come in with a lost, mysterious feeling before we return to melody as it floats in a disembodied way over top of the aggressive power underneath, eerie and lost. This is a track that speaks of a very potent and real threat.

“The Toxic Dolls” comes to life with chiming sounds that drift out into the swelling blackness of the void around them and a dark, twisted voice moves through the music briefly before the beat throbs onwards with powerful drums and a pipe organ-like sound that writhes and slips through the music.

I am drawn to the ominous energy of that sound as high sparkles of synth spin through the music and those big drums drive onward. The organ twines through the track, giving it a sense of drama, while creeping notes wind through the music along with the extreme darkness of the bass.

There’s a sense of the vast openness of space as “Outpost Vega” begins along with a gentle twinkle of starlight in the background. Swelling breaths of synth drift up into that giant expanse around them. A very slow, smooth beat glides through the track, while the rich synth sounds all intermingle to caress the ear.

Everything floats as chimes form shifting patterns in the distance sweeping sounds make their way through the suffusing lambent feeling around them. Everything feels open and free, a contrast to the darkness of much of the rest of the album.There’s a certain sadness and feeling of loss that I find touching in the delicate washes of shining notes.

I also enjoy the Neil DeGrasse Tyson vocal sample as it adds to the sense of feeling tiny in the face of the vastness of space and time. The beat grows stronger, the pulse more intense as all of those gentle, swelling and moving sounds float out through open space.

Conclusion

Seize The Night is a hard-hitting slice of powerful synth-based music that finds a balance between raw aggression and more gentle and flowing moments. It is a strong evocation of a city/world gripped in fear and full of threats, in which people struggle and fight to survive against the darkness rising all around them