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Friday, November 27, 2020

Review: Cape Fear – Near Dark

Label: Librarion Records & Fanzines

Date: July 31st, 2020

Yet again, Cape Fear manages to surprise me. This is nowhere near what I had in mind when this EP came to me. Last time around there was some musical inconsistencies and a mix up I didn’t quite get used to. Still, there was potential to be found and the mere news that the band was at it again got me a bit excited. I hoped for the best. But it seems like I need to start all over again.

As an introductory note, Cape Fear is a one-man band from Serbia. “Near Dark” is the second EP in its discography and almost completely different to its predecessor. The one thing left is the eerie atmosphere which characterized some of the songs from “Harvest of the Gods”. This time stripped of any metal whatsoever. This is an ambient record. As far as I understood, Mr. Đorđević went for a movie soundtrack inspired collection of tunes. Unsurprisingly (at last something that doesn’t surprise), it is dedicated to vintage horror movies and the undying inspiration for many who tread amidst the borders of alternative musical worlds, Howard Phillips Lovecraft. To all of this I would add the work of Vangelis, filling this recording with a bit of futuristic effect. Another point of reference might be found in the background sounds of the old 8-bit video arcade games. Mashing all of this together Cape Fear does find an acceptable middle road to follow.

While the atmosphere on “Near Dark” is spot-on, the problem might be in the lack of anything innovative. Or even an innovative approach. While listening to this 13 minute long material you do feel what the author intended you to feel, with little to no room for your own imagination. The fact alone wouldn’t hurt anything if I didn’t have the constant feeling of deja-vu. It’s as if I’ve heard every tone and arranging pattern somewhere before. Being a fan of all of the mentioned influences for Cape Fear, there is a possibility I could place every part of this record on one of the above.

In order to practice an art such as movie soundtrack, I think Cape Fear needs much more thought and consideration. Particularly if going in such a well-known direction. On the other hand, this EP might just be an experiment and Cape Fear might soon return to metal, which seemed much more successful endeavor in their case. Try it if you’re a fan. Especially if you’re not too picky. Might make a nice background for quiet contemplation. Or reading a book. Why not?