The ‘L’Assassin’ EP contains four songs of which the title track and “One Flesh” are new songs and there are new versions from “Der Erscheinungen Flucht” and “Der Brandtaucher” which were on ‘Masse Mensch Material‘ in their original form. The remakes, if you will, are really worth buying this EP (and much more ‘different’ than the remakes on the ‘To Die Among Strangers‘ EP).
The creative input of new member Nikos Mavridis (on violin) has become more and more apparent, most obviously in the reinvented, “stringed” versions of the new versions of the ‘Masse Mensch Material’ songs. This should not come as a surprise to those who saw Rome live since Mavridis joined them on stage. The songs are more organic of some sort. They have a lot more warmth to them. But I guess some will call this pathos.
Notice how Reuter changed, or really updated, the lyrics in “Der Erscheinungen Flucht” from
This is a warning, we fall, as servants fall, in stone gardens.
This is a warning, we fall, as stock markets fall, in stone gardens.
The song L’Assassin makes use of the rather cold sound we heard on ‘Nera‘ and ‘Berlin‘, without the martial influences. But they add more warmth as the song progresses into something a bit symphonic, almost like a movie soundtrack. I couldn’t help but to think about Clint Mansell (Requiem for a Dream, The Fountain) soundtrack or Nick Cave‘s soundtracks for The Proposition or The Assassination of Jesse James now and then.
“One Flesh” is a very theatrical song, that features a very distinct cello sound. But I think this is definitely the least interesting song on this EP. It is simply a bit too sentimental.
Where the last album ‘Flowers in Exile’ continued Rome’s journey away from martial industrial into a more Leonard Cohen-like pop singer-songwriter style, (compare Rome’s “Wilde Lager” with Cohen’s “Famous Blue Raincoat”. There’s a Leonard Cohen homage in the bass at the intro of the song), L’Assassin seems to hint at a more orchestrated sound not unlike film soundtracks.
So, after the industrial sounds and sequencers on ‘Nera’ and ‘Berlin’, came the more sophisticated use of those elements with the incorporation of acoustic instruments (‘Confessions d’un Voleur d’Ames’), after which the rhythmic bombastic minimalism of ‘Masse Mensch Material’ came followed by the more acoustic/organic sound of the last two efforts (‘To Die Among Strangers’, ‘Flowers form Exile’). Now ‘L’Assassin’ has become the most organic sounding, but also the most theatrical, maybe even over-the-top sentimental, thanks to the generously added string sections.
Still the reworked ‘Masse Mensch Material’ songs have been improved in a very interesting way, which promises a lot for the next Rome release.