If you have ever listened to Parade Ground, you must have discovered the great artistic power which drove brothers Jean-Marc and Pierre both musically and on their live performances. This legendary Belgian duo started their music career in the 80s. However, the band is still rocking in the new millennium and what more proof than their latest Sanctuary album.
They were inspired by Wire, Magazine and Buzzcocks, among other UK bands of the era. However, the band’s sound has changed and evolved since their 80s hit “Gold Rush”. Although they had a big pause from 1988 until they released Rosary in 2007, the duo decided to continue. Sanctuary was released in 2016 on a cassette. However, the album is now available on the CD which is released through Other Voices Records in cooperation with legendary German VUZ Records.
The album consists of 14 tracks. It won’t please the average listeners who hope to hear the poppy tunes. You need to dig deeper to find what is obvious to me; the utmost artistic sound expression. The album relies on post punk influences only partially. However, the sound is much more experimental. It doesn’t follow trends; it’s timeless! The sound is hypnotic, powerful and striking. The band abandons the traditional song’s structure and relies on experimentation, improvisation and uniqueness. The album sounds psychedelic at times; the phrases are repetitive, trance like and minimalistic. It is almost impossible to dissect the album song by song. The listener should take it as a whole which can only be fully understood as a complete art piece. Jean-Marc’s vocal sounds ghostly and haunting; almost like distant shouts coming from another dimension. Sanctuary won’t make you feel too comfortable unless you’re willing to accept the album as an extraordinary piece of abstract art which in times of instant information and extreme consumerism is rather difficult to find. And when you find it, keep it close!