Some of the more conventional trappings of post-punk such as a bass line holding the riff where the guitar normally would in rock music are in play on this album. Curfman ‘s voice might not hold the same level of emotive vulnerability that Robert Smith can summon, but does all right on his own. The album takes frequent turns into experimentation with world music. It is more of a jarring turn than what Dead Can Dance does, since they never hold any allusions to being rock music in the first place. He often comes to weird crossroads meeting sounds similar to artists like Vast with quirky Dresdan Dolls like cabaret flavored escapades. A Nine Inch Nails like pulse is the heart beat of “All In Full Bloom Smeared”. His upper range is more of a whine here. He does make a graceful turn to a more dark wave sound on “Through Marrow Always”.
One of this projects strength is the fact Curfman doesn’t just revert to the typical Ian Curtis styled narrative. However when he attempts reach a more Morrissey like yodel, this is not his strong point as a singer, the Robert Smith like desperation he uses the better. Unlike many so called “goth” artists, Justin is not writing disposable dance songs, the catchy grooves seem to be accidental with “Did My Absence Follow Me” coming across more like a lost gem from ‘alternative radio” in the 90s. “The Last Bruise I Harvest Here” takes you on woozy Doors like journey into the Middle East. With ”
At times He even wanders into darker Nick Cave like landscapes. His more fragile upper register is tested in the whispered ballad ‘the First Born Stands Sedated” It took a few listens for me to ingest the more electro pulse of “Where All These Towns and Choices End”, that reminds me of a more sedate She Wants Revenge. The vocals can at some times be both this album’s blessing and curse depending on which way they are going, over all this ambitious two hour project hits way more than it misses and it actually pretty fucking good.