"An emotional and powerful refuge, "Antidote" is a magnificent album from Impure Wilhelmina that continues its evolution towards more rocky shores without denaturing its personality"
CHILDERIC THOR (22.07.2021)  
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Music is said to soothe the soul, but it also has other virtues, notably that of overcoming malaise and the darkest tendencies lurking in the brain. This is the idea that guided Impure Wilhelmina when giving birth to a successor to "Radiation" (2017). "Antidote" is its name and it would hardly be possible to summarize better this seventh album of the Swiss.

Does it mean that listening to it makes you feel good, especially in these uncertain and tormented times? The answer cannot be reduced to a yes or a no. Yes, because this eminently cathartic album contains a strong healing power for the one who lets himself be embraced by its melodies and this dramatic clear singing (we will come back to this later). But this balm remains dark and painful, exuding a ghostly despair. We just have to listen to a track such as 'Dismantling' which hosts in a surprisingly brutal last part - screamed voices and accelerations full of abrasive black metal - to understand the ambivalences of a light and dark opus, aerial and severe. Like life. And like the human soul.

Musically, Impure Wilhelmina remains this very personal object, shaped by more than twenty-five years of activism, with first (post) hardcore influences that progressively fade away for a luminous post-rock. Still as intense as ever, "Black Honey" marked a clear evolution in 2014 by letting Michael Schindel's clean vocals fill the space, giving the band's sound a more rock or even almost pop feel, without eroding its strong identity. "Antidote" carries on this shift towards a ( fake ) more accessible universe.

One guesses that each one of its ten compositions is the fruit of a meticulous elaboration, true work of goldsmith whose intimate workings are revealed only by small touches. The technique, perfect, never suffocates, on the contrary, an emotion heightening sensitivity, which unwinds as much by the medium of guitars sometimes granular, stratospheric, heavy but always poignant, as by the means of powerful and soft vocal lines.

The pure and tragic beauty of these vocals proves to be more than ever the most striking element of a creation whose genre usually relies less on this organ than on an important instrumental base. It is difficult not to be impressed by the performance of Michael Schindel, provider of a certain sadness ('Umpredicted Sky') but also of hope ('Solitude'). The man is the keystone of this fragile but robust edifice, as in 'Jasmines', which combines tenderness and underground strength. Plural work but of a beautiful cohesion, "Antitode" feeds itself of this constant ambiguity to broach numerous faces, battling sometimes ('Midlife Hollow'), hypnotic ('Vicious'), unhealthy ('Torrent') but always deep ('Gravel').

Emotional and powerful refuge, "Antidote" is a magnificent album from Impure Wilhelmina which carries on its evolution towards more rock strands without denaturing its personality.

More informations on

01. Solitude
02. Midlife Hollow
03. Gravel
04. Dismantling
05. Jasmines
06. Vicious
07. Torrent
08. Unpredicted Sky
09. Antidote
10. Everything Is Vain

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