Melancholy – a state of gloominess… of sadness.
It may say ‘Pryti’ on the sleeve, but inside, the tracks that make up this first full-length outing are anything but pretty. The midlands based multi-instrumentalist has followed up her debut EP ‘Welcome To Pariahville’ with an album that very much lives up to its title. This album delivers on that intonation in spades!
Pryti wrote the songs, played the guitar and bass, and handled the vocals on ‘Tales Of A Melancholic’. She also plays piano, and manages her own label, so there’s no denying the talent and drive here.
Opening track, ‘Insomnia’ sets the mood and tone for the majority of the album. Dark and brooding, with heavy, often distorted guitar, and a powerful, driving rhythm section, all washed over with a pristine clean vocal, that could come equally from your dreams as it could your nightmares, and with titles like ‘The Pessimist’, ‘Purge’, and ‘Bitter Pill’, you know you’re not going to be in for a dreamy ride.
My first impression, on hearing “Tales Of A Melancholic”, was that one could easily believe this was a soundtrack album for one of those oh-so-beautiful, heavily CG’d, graphic novel adaptation-type action movies like ‘Sucker Punch’.
Whilst there’s plenty to enjoy about this album, it’s not without its faults. At times, from listening through repeatedly, I found the structuring of the songs a little formulaic. More often than not, there’s a gentle intro and first verse, then everything comes crashing in, all drive and distortion, then there’s a refrain, and then back into the power, all the while, the vocals continue, weaving their melancholic spell over the mix. If you like the opener ‘Insomnia’, you’re going to like ¾ of the rest of the album at least. If the opening track doesn’t grab you instantly, you might want to skip to track 7, ‘Angst’, which definitely will!
‘Angst’ opens with a distorted, percussive riff, overlayed with a vocal that’s somewhere between Bjork and Hayley Williams, that opens up into a truly memorable, catchy chorus.
‘Battle Wounds’ continues in a similar vein, followed by the highlight of the album for me.
‘Ghost’ is hauntingly beautiful. Rather than the ‘bang, crash, shock tactic of earlier songs, this one is allowed to breathe, to build progressively… naturally. It starts with a lone arpeggio and an achingly gorgeous vocal. The rhythm comes in for the second verse as an underpinning, before the full power is unleashed, a full two minutes in.
‘Burden’ brings the album to a rousing, catchy, satisfying finale, a song with ‘single’ written all over it. Easily the most accessible track here.
Throughout the album, there are hints of artists as diverse as The Cranberries, Velvet Underground, Bjork, Evanescence, Linkin Park and Emily Browning. ‘Tales Of A Melancholic’ defies pigeonholing, it’s not pop, it’s not rock, and it’s not metal. It slips effortlessly between genres, and that is very much to Pryti’s credit.
No, it’s not going to be the album you reach for to lift your spirits, but it may just be the one you reach for to elevate your soul.
“Tales Of A Melancholic” is released on February 16th, and available to pre-order now, via iTunes here.
Review: Rob Nankivell