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The Convent

1986-2016

Review by G. W. Hill
I've never heard this band before. If you like the new wave sounds of acts like the Cure, this is definitely your kind of thing. This double record vinyl set has some decent range. One complaint I'd make is that the labeling of the sides "1," "9," "8" and "6" is pretty confusing.
Track by Track Review
Side 1
First Impressions Of The West

Energized new wave music is the concept here. This is quite soaring. It's a strong piece of music.

Amsterdam
Much mellower, this has a melodic new wave texture that works quite well, too.
Wiedergeburt der Stille
With lyrics in German, there is a cool vibe to this thing. It's part new wave and even a bit King Crimson in style. I love the whispered vocals that we get at times.
King Of Rain
This comes in rather trippy, but it grows out to a jam that's a bit like the Cure in some ways. That gets balanced with a return to the mellower stuff.
All Night Long
I like the energy and melodies on this. It's definitely set in the same kind of 80s new wave sound, but it is really particularly effective and soaring. They turn it out into a sped up section at the end.
Winning
The vocal arrangement on this is particularly strong. The guitar is especially meaty, too. Those things make this one of the stronger cuts of the set.
Side 9
              

Angel Of Wild Life

This rocker is energetic and potent. It has some punk and plenty of new wave in the mix.

Crashed Cars & Love Letters
Speaking of punk, this comes in feeling a bit like the early Police kind of merging of punk and reggae. The tune is a bit rough edged compared to a lot of the rest. The fast paced, slightly off-kilter progression works so well. This is one of the highlights of the set, really.
Chain Reaction
This is more closely tied to something like The Cure. It's a melodic number that's very effective. It's another highlight as far as I'm concerned.
I Will Follow
Although the main song structure on this makes me think of The Cure, there is a weird bit mid-track that has a tasty, almost prog oddness to it.
Mocha For The Lions
Another that has hints of proggy elements in some of the weirder parts, this is hard edged and yet still well rooted in the new wave kinds of sounds.
Above My State
Starting quite mellow, this works out to more involved new wave type music. It's another solid cut.
Side 8
                  
Silverbird

The slow moving intro of this cut really has a lot of moody modern prog built into its structure in a lot of ways. As it grows out to the rocking groove it takes on a rather psychedelic rock vibe. That combines at times with a harder rocking alternative texture. This is a classy tune that really leans heavily on both modern prog and psychedelia. I love the organ soloing on it. This is one of the highlights of the set for sure. The full on jam later in the track is really very much a prog segment.

Goodbye Bride
The Cure and other new wave type sounds are the dominating elements here. This is a classy tune, but not as interesting as the last number. Still, it's energized and classy. There are a couple intriguing shifts and changes, though.
She
This is not a huge change. still, it's solid.
Sign Of Light
Now, this one is one that lands in the general vicinity of some modern prog rock. It's a mellower tune in some ways. It's also a really strong number.
Side 6
                    

The Endless Way

Moody new wave styled sounds are the idea here. This is rather trippy. It's also dark and slow moving. I like the spoken word section later a lot. In fact, I think that's the best part of the tune.

Take It On A Chin
Somehow this makes me think of Lords of the New Church just a bit. That's a good thing. This is another cut that's particularly effective.
Not Today
There are some interesting changes here. I like the way the song kind of shifts and turns in several places. There is a great rhythmic groove to it, too.
Indifference Is Rising
Although not a big change, this is another effective tune.
 
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