Black Needle Noise – “Lost In Reflections” album review

 

The second Black Needle Noise full length album, Lost In Reflections, has just been released, exactly one year after the first one, Before The Tears Came. During that year John Fryer was busy collaborating with amazing artists on the new BNN singles which he has now compiled in the album format. Lost In Reflections consists of 11 tracks, the first of which, was released in July 2016, “Treasured Lies”, featuring a Norwegian singer and songwriter ZiaLand. What we should have expected from BNN new album this track has already delivered. John Fryer continues to astound us with the powerful musical theme and the striking refrain, while preserving the atmospheric and ethereal feel that makes his work recognizable. While ZiaLand delivers the strong vocal performance, a0443492714_10the second track “Warning Sign” with Kendra Frost delivers more delicate atmosphere. The track is floaty and light. The idea of John’s sublime soundscapes combined with Kendra’s angelic voice makes this piece a perfect track for a daydream. But don’t drift away, there are some catchy moments that BNN can offer. They come with the very next track, “She Stands On A Storm”. Although the introduction may sound innocent and mysterious, the punchy and impressive refrain will stir things up. Andrea Kerr is doing a great job with her vocal interpretation, shifting from almost whispering to a more striking performance. Distinguishable soundscapes colour the next tracks: “Heaven” with Jennie Vee, “This Kind Of Road” with Kendra Frost and “Teeth To Grey” with Omniflux. One of the tracks that undoubtedly caught my attention was “Swimming Through Dreams” featuring Mimi Page. This song takes the words “ethereal” and “soundscapes” to the next level. Listening to the collaboration of John and Mimi evokes a dreamlike state; it’s almost a surreal, mystical, otherwordly and supernatural sound experience. I feel that they have really wanted to give us something we haven’t heard before. And I am very sure that we haven’t heard it. “And Nothing Remains” with Ana Breton is another song really high on my top list. It is one more elegant and sophisticated piece, rich in delightful melody and arrangements. After eight tracks featuring female artists, the sequence is broken by the vocal of Bill Leeb of Front Line Assebly and Delerium. “A Shiver Of Want” is noisy, darkly painted and heavier than the previous tracks, but the song is nonetheless soothing and comforting. It’s absolutely impossible to have a favourite BNN track, since each song tells a story of its own. However, when I first heard “Breathless Speechless” with Sivert Høyem, I was indeed speechless. The seductive and captivating sounds intertwine with Sivert’s deep and sensual vocal. A perfect combination for this deeply atmospheric track. John Fryer closes the amazing chapter of this emotional musical journey with the “Neon Noir”. The piece was a welcome surprise to my ears, heart and mind. I haven’t had the opportunity to hear the track until now, and I was really happy listening to this electronic poppy and vibrating number at the very end. Is this the direction John will keep? He will leave us guessing, but hopefully not for long. There are no rules, no boundaries, no limits to his imaginative and inspired mind. And all you ever wanted to know about John and his world of art is here, at the reach of your hands or ears; you do not need to look further. Thank you, John and all the brilliant artists who contributed to this release, for being part of our lives. Your work speaks volumes.

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