Power of Metal.dk Review

Midnight Moodswings and Seiswork
The Dopamine Recursive
Style: Post Rock
Release date: 24 June, 2013
Playing time: 31:59

It's not often that you come across albums created by more than one band. This particular album, “The Dopamine Recursive”, is actually a collaborative effort between Midnight Moodswings from the USA and Seiswork from Belgium. Midnight Moodswings is a dark post-rock band that has some rather ambitious ideas. Seiswork, on the other hand, is a glitch hop and electronic artist. In all honesty, this is a difficult album to review. The bands' names seem so appropriate, as we get a very dark, very moody style with sparks of energy that shake you to your knees.

Indeed, the album is quite ambient, but occasionally emerges from this style to engage the listener. And, as I said, it is extremely dark. It almost feels like a person writhing in various emotional states, from hopeful to desperate. You can feel it in the deep, bassy music; the electronic touches; and even the very lush brighter notes. The tracks progress slowly, but the pay-off is usually just right. They flow together like a river of emotion; like a rollercoaster of feeling. I really like the bright flashes of beauty that slice into the deep, murky music. This dichotomy creates a rich and varied atmosphere.

The instrumentation is usually electronic, but there are some great pianos, guitars, and synth that perfectly mesh with the electronic nature of much of the album. It really is an interesting marriage of ideas, and a nearly perfect presentation of those ideas, too.

The band has an interesting way of presenting their music, however. There seems to be a three-pronged plan here: music, written passages, and visual art. First, the dark music immerses you. Then, I was reading some of the written passages on their websites, and they are dreary, thought-provoking pieces. They are usually about the changing nature of the human world, as it continually turns uglier and uglier. Those on the lower end live by the mantra “Walk on us to give us purpose”, as the writer compares them to sidewalks. Even sleep is not peaceful, anymore. Scary stuff, right?

The third prong involves interesting art pieces from an artist called Fractured Fractals. Each track has its own piece that somewhat visualizes the emotional state of the track. These pieces are dark with flashes and swirls of crystalline, colorful light. These perfectly represent the music, in my opinion.

This album, then, certainly gets marks for originality, creativity, and pure emotional drainage of its listeners. It's a rare album that can affect a person so much. This isn't doom metal, though. This isn't black metal, either. This is ambient, texture-driven, moody music that plays out in movements and colors. Still, I give you fair warning: Do not expect much hope here.

1. The Floor Is
2. A Good Place
3. Interlude: Numb as Numbers
4. To Sleep
5. Interlude: Alas! Time Never Flies
6. When You Cannot
7. Tell the Difference
8. Between Night and Day
9. Outro: My Problem with Daylight
Label: Independent
Distribution: MM and S @ Bandcamp
Artwork rating: 90/100
Reviewed by: Jason Spencer
Date: 8 September, 2013
Website: MM and S @ Bandcamp