The only thing I knew about ARDOURS was that I was a big fan of Mariangela Demurtas’ voice. That’s all I had going in. But that was more than enough, because their debut album Last Place On Earth is out now via Frontiers Music and believe me when I tell you this unit works, and works really well. The songs have a nice full sound, and are very much in the Gothic Rock vein with some metal tinges sprinkled throughout. This is the kind of record I would have had on REPEAT back in the mid-90’s when I was sitting by myself in my apartment enjoying a glass of wine (or six), but by no means is the material dated. It just captures that feeling I used to get.
Opening instrumental “What Else Is There” accomplishes that rare feat of getting me excited for what’s next. You all know how much I usually hate intros or anything like that, but this one only serves to hype things up, if that makes any sense. “Catabolic” has this killer drum pattern courtesy of Demurtas’ TRISTANIA bandmate Tarald Lie, who also wrote the lyrics for the disc. Multi-instrumentalist/producer Kris Laurent shines both on the guitar and keys on this number, as well as the title track, the latter containing a rather fiery solo. “Design” is the song that should be this band’s live opener at their September debut show. It rocks hard and will definitely get any crowd’s attention with a quickness.
I can’t lie, “Last Moment” has one of THE best choruses I’ve heard in a long time, and the build up to that is just as powerful. This is my favorite song on the record, no question. Guarantee I’m not alone in that thinking either, am I? There’s a sense of longing with “The Mist” that is easy for anyone to identify with, while “Therefore I Am” is a tasty piece of synth-rock with serious punch. A clean guitar melody opens “Truths” before it turns into a behemoth, steamrolling everything in its path, Demurtas’ delivery in the driver’s seat. “No One Is Listening” is another winning track, and closer “Totally” brings it on home beautifully.
All told ARDOURS have one helluva debut on their hands with Last Place On Earth. This is a record that not only strikes all the right chords in a musical sense, it also does the same on an emotional level. I truly feel something every time I put this one on, and I have to say that I 100% love the way Mariangela Demurtas sings. She’s got one of those voices I could listen to for hours, and a big part of that is the way she delivers her lines. Bottom line is this is a great band, and I am beyond excited to see what the future holds for them. If you haven’t already, check out ARDOURS. You won’t be disappointed; matter of fact you’ll be thanking me.
STANDOUT TRACKS: ALL OF THEM