Alternative | Experimental |Electronic
Sean bowie (aka Yves Tumor) is an experimental artist, both visually and musically, and I have been enjoying their music since 2018, shortly before reviewing their previous album Safe In The Hands of Love. I found this album to be quite a solid effort, which included a handful of very good singles such as the surreal and insanely catchy “Noid” as well as the gorgeous “Licking An Orchid”.
And while I definitely appreciated Safe In The Hands of Love for being quite an artistic statement in its own right, there were large chunks of that album that I had to revisit today in order to refresh my memory. And I think the most plausible reason behind this would be the over-abundance of unmemorable ambient noise (particularly pre “Noid”).
Fast-forward to 2020, and my hopes for an album which improved upon the former were raised to the heavens with the first teaser track for Yves Tumor’s newest album, Heaven To A Tortured Mind. This track was titled “Gospel For A New Century”, and it quickly became my favourite track of February, whilst still remaining one of my favourite tracks of the year as a whole. I absolutely adored the awe-inspiring industrial/orchestral production, along with Sean Bowie’s attitude-fuelled vocals which are on par with (if not better than) those on “Noid”.
What followed was the second teaser “Kerosene!”, which I thoroughly enjoyed as well. The highlight for me would be the explosive guitar riffs that coat each chorus in an amazingly astral atmosphere.
And yet, this albums teasing cycle was another case of a teaser slipping under my radar pre-release. Only this time, it was a double set of teaser compiled in with each-other. These last few teasers were “Romanticist” and “dream Palette”. Upon finally listening to these two songs together on the album however, it became easy to see why they were paired together, as they transition so well into each-other.
Now covering the album in full, the absolute best thing about it in my opinion is that Sean Bowie really seemed to take on board just how much fans loved his approach towards songs with a more accessible sound, such as “Noid” and “Licking An Orchid” (as opposed to the more ambient tracks on the prior album), as Heaven To A Tortured Mind is almost completely accessible with its track list, while still having some of that Yves Tumor edge that really signify those tracks as ones from this artist.
However, I also feel that this benefactor contributes towards my least favourite thing about this album too. I admittedly feel that I may have set the bar a little too high going into this record, and while I loved that these songs weren't’t just ambient noise, I feel that there are a few tracks on here that feel a bit repetitive, or simply need more surreal elements added to them. While I did mention that there was enough of an Yves Tumor edge to make this album still sound like it belongs to Yves Tumor, I would’ve definitely welcomed a more loud and surreal atmosphere throughout, along with possibly the same kind of masterful conception found on Safe In The Hands of Love.
But don’t get it twisted, Heaven To A Tortured Mind is a considerable improvement upon its predecessor, but I still feel that Sean Bowie is yet to establish and settle into his paramount sound, which they are most certainly working towards, it seems.
And while I would ultimately regard the teaser tracks as the cream-of-the-crop in this respect, I still enjoyed a good majority of this album. And while quite a lot of songs felt like they could’ve used a little more oomf, it honestly doesn’t detract from the album enough to really make it anything short of a step in the right direction.
Favourite Tracks: Gospel For A New Century | Kerosene! | Romanticist
Lease Favourite Track: Hasdallen Lights