Klimt 1918 – Sentimentale Jugend (Prophecy Productions)Monday, 12th December 2016
Certifiably not metal, so move along if dreamy Italian shoegaze isn’t your bag. Relevant because they’re on Prophecy Productions and because they’re quite good (that sounds a bit vague, doesn’t it?), Italy’s Klimt 1918 was last heard from via 2008’s Just In Case We’ll Never Meet Again, an unheralded gem of savory pop hooks and near-metal guitars. Appropriately, Sentimentale Jugend is a double-album, a rarity in this day and age, only worth doing if your music has a cinematic quality, to which Klimt 1918 certainly does.
Consisting of two separate albums (Sentimentale is the first; Jugend the second; hence the title), Sentimentale Jugend has what amounts to two scopes. Sentimentale features Klimt 1918’s swirling, if not relaxed side, with the slow-build and airy caress of the excellent “Comandante” and “Belvedere,” the latter employing indie rock dance beats. While the cover of Berlin’s “Take My Breath Away” is a throwaway, the spiraling guitars that front “Gaza Youth (Exist/Resist)” are certifiably heartening, embodying the sound of shoegaze in the modern age.
Jugend has more momentum and pulse than its counterpart disc, giving it a direct focus/scope, as “Sant’Angelo (The Sound & The Fury)” hits home ’80s new wave and the exquisite, one-tone vocals of Marco Soellner, who comfortably hoists himself in for these songs like a humble narrator. The crashing “Resig-nation” (misspelled on purpose) and grunged-up “Juvenile” further plot the course of separation from traditional post-rock mediums.
The idea of releasing a double-album in 2016 is awfully bold and frankly, commendable. Since Klimt 1918 has been able to envelop a good chunk of metal’s dark/Gothic subset, there’s perhaps a greater sense of patience and flexibility that comes from less-than-heavy music as this. But forget where Klimt 1918 stands and/or ranks: The restless, sensitive atmospheric churn of Sentimentale Jugend is only for the brave.