Review / Lorem Ipsum – Vivre Encore

For years France has been leading the way in Continental screamo. From older outfits like Amanda Woodward and Daitro, to the more recent crop of bands such as Birds in Row or Chaviré, the French just seem to have a knack of creating beautifully emotional music with an aggressive edge. So with such a rich history in the genre it is no wonder that bands coming out of La République are also coming up with new innovative ways to express themselves in the genre. This is exactly what Lorem Ipsum have done: they have pushed outside the expected boundaries of screamo and created something in equal parts beautiful and haunting. The trio’s new record Vivre Encore is a unique blend of progressive opera which creates an almost cinematic feel to their music.

The record is a remarkable display of the band’s ability to write on both an intimate and emotional scale, blending the two with great ease. By just using an acoustic guitar, violin and piano, the three piece manages to create moments of great tension and build up to moments of release that convey not mere emotion, but narrative. The impact that their vocalist, howling away in Frogspeak, has on the music as well is just phenomenal, at times juxtaposing betwixt the instrumentation, at others bearing down like a mighty hammer. 

Each track is based on a true story of somebody who has fought a bodily failure, from physical or psychological illness to the war wounded – and the song titles bear their names, in solemn tribute. Tracks like “Andrée” and “Anne” aim to transport us into the subject’s headspace, and just through the instrumentation you get a feeling for what this person has gone through. On “Andrée” in particular, the way the track builds from a simple piano progression to sharp stabs of the violin, which make you feel almost claustrophobic, the trio really manage to capture the mood and feeling of the tale they are telling.

What makes this already unique band even more interesting is that the musicianship has a classical feel to it, and that’s not just because of the instruments being used but in the composition of each song. The trio could have so easily used their instruments to create an aggressive form of music, but instead it is structured like something you would see a full orchestra compose and perform.  Sometimes throwing the term unique around is a bit of an empty statement, but when it comes to Lorem Ipsum they are a truly unique band who have created a piece of art which will leave you breathless.

Vivre Encore is out now and can be ordered here.

Words: Tim Birkbeck

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