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Synth Album Review: "Forget My Fate" by Athena Queen

Karl is a longtime freelancer who's passionate about music, art, and writing.

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Overall Impressions

Athena Queen’s Forget My Fate paints melancholy, powerful sonic pictures with a detailed, varied synth palette. She crafts melodies that hover between emotional states, and she fills the sonic space with a well-woven tapestry of synths that support the other musical elements. As a whole, she creates intense emotional depth on the album.

The melodic writing on Forget My Fate is a large part of why I enjoy the album. Athena Queen crafts strong melodies that skillfully mingle dreamy, more hopeful emotions and feelings of loss and sadness. I enjoy how she makes music that exists on the edge of different emotional states, since much of our lives is lived on that edge.

I also enjoy the way in which Forget My Fate showcases Athena Queen’s ability to combine a wide variety of synth tones, textures and timbres to produce harmonious compositions. There are smooth tones, rippling sonic textures and synths that glow and project deep feeling. I enjoy how the choices that she makes complement the melodic nature of her music, intensifying the atmospheric power of it.

The remixes included on the album are well-done. They produce a new listening experience to the original songs but keep the integrity of the material in place. I’m happy when remixers understand the importance of putting a new twist on music without taking away from what was originally created by the originator of that music.

My Favourite Tracks Analyzed

“Hypergravity”

“Hypergravity” comes to life with echoing, undulating pulses of harsh synth that cut in and fade out along with softly ticking drums and a distant satellite-like bleep. Softly flowing synth clouds sail around a fragile note pattern. A trumpeting, medium-high synth calls out a melody that is equal parts triumphant and tragic, a combination that I find engaging. A hollow, starry synth adds a breathy feeling while a gruff sound bursts through. The slowly moving, glowing melody hurts and hopes.

A secondary, fragile melodic line slips in a diaphanous flow carried on an open-voiced synth over the bursts of hard-edged sound below it. A quickly arpeggiating synth pattern dances densely over the grit and steady drum pulsation below it. Once again, the lead synth melody slips along, full of aching emotion. The music has a lost and tragic quality as the gruff synths burst and the arpeggios spin out into emptiness and quiet.

“Juggernaut”

A series of strumming, metallic notes twinkle out behind slowly turning, open-voiced arpeggios to start “Juggernaut.” A worshipful, choral-sounding synth rises in reverential lines while the drums add a ticking beat and a metallic brushing sound.

A trembling melody, rising to feel hopeful, but touched by mournful emotion comes in. The melody is beautiful in its pain and tinged by a hint of dreaming as it’s carried by medium-high, trumpeting synths.

As it evolves, it reaches a more positive segment that generates feelings of uplift as airy breaths blow around it and the drums tick along. The melody feels poignant as a digital-sounding, medium-high synth shifts back to the more positive, expectant segment as it wheels and spins.

The synth notes are shaded by troubled feelings and the bright strumming continues. Elevated, shining synths flash in and the yearning, upward reaching segment comes back over ripples of hollow synth throbbing drums. The drums guide the aching melody through the airy space around it and we fade on gentle sounds and spaced out radio transmissions.

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“Vanguard”

“Vanguard” opens as astral chimes shimmer and gleam over a radio transmission and a tumbling, flowing line of medium-high, glowing synth creates feelings of relaxation and ease. The drums pulse evenly as the melody drifts in. The melody is mournful and rich with emotion as it smoothes its way along while the chimes glitter in the distance.

I enjoy the melody’s peaceful feeling, in spite of how much hurt it seems to hold. Rising, warm synths buoy the track up as they move in the background. The chimes’ sparkle and sheen contrast with the emotive pangs that fill the melody.

Distant, metallic sounds ring out as a bouncy synth with a wooden quality carries a broken, subdivided version of the melody. The synth instrument reminds me of a marimba as the chimes shine around it. The medium-high, silky smooth lead synth carries the melody, expressing a lost and hurt feeling as the radio transmissions hiss with static.

“Juggernaut (Genesis Archon Remix)”

A smoothly, rapidly ticking beat adds more energy than the original as “Juggernaut (Genesis Archon Remix)” opens. Spinning arpeggios whirl rapidly and the breakbeat propels the track forward, adding pace to the music. The original’s dreaming, emotionally rich melody drifts in a smooth line over the bursting speed of the stuttering drums to provide an ear-pleasing contrast. The lead synth is dialled back in the mix and the drums are foregrounded which results in a a ghostly feeling balanced by surging power.

Sharp-edged synths cut through to add a rough edge. The synths keep on rippling and the breaking, skipping beat adds a unique sensation.The melody’s airy drift is split by a harsh, distorted synth line that cuts through with a diamond brightness.

The extending notes of the elegiac melody flow out on a strong, effulgent synth and a wash of air rushes through. The drumbeats shatter and break as a hollow synth pops rapidly. The distant melody rushes through, breathy and lost while the beat keeps speeding along to slow to half time and fade out.

“Vanguard (808 Metropolis Remix)”

“Vanguard (808 Metropolis Remix)” commences as the opening part smoothly glides along. In the remix, the melody is carried on a sharp-edged, clear synth that has a bite to it that takes the melody in an energized, leaping direction. The drums in the remix are faster but they still touch lightly. The lead synth is misty and swirling as it carries the melody over rumbling, hard-edged bass pulses.

I like how the harsh, clean synth imbues the melody with a more positive feeling. The hazy secondary synth provides a peaceful contrast over the solid bass. As a kick drum throbs, a nasal, digital-sounding synth carries the majestic, hurting melody as it floats along. A whirling, elevated sonic sweep moves through and the leaping, sharp lead synth lifts the energy levels of the music. The bass throbs along and fades on the sharp lead, floating out alone.

Conclusion

Forget My Fate is an album that richly explores melodic, melancholic synthscapes which are full of atmosphere. I enjoy Athena Queen’s individualistic, expressive approach to making synth music and look forward to hearing more from her soon.

© 2022 Karl Magi

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