It took Subsignal a good two years, but now they are finally back and ready to release their new album “La Muerta.” On it, as to be expected with the former Sieges Even duo Markus Steffen and Arno Menses, the German band sends the listener on a proper voyage of discovery that is as complex as it is eventful. Subsignal have consciously designed the path to “La Muerta” a tad more accessible than was the case with the predecessor…
It is the fundamental rule in Subsignal: the band always resets the focus and overhauls the pressure points from album to album. That is why in the run-up to “La Muerta” the German outfit did not only sign a new record deal with Gentle Art of Music, but the five-piece also made a decision in favor of a modified approach in terms of the project’s artistic priorities. While on earlier releases the band still lit up the literal torch to lead the audience’s way through the tricky pathways of the delicately tangled progressive rock-undergrowth, this time, despite several hints of assistance here and there, Subsignal indeed put their trust in the power of the songwriting as well as the intuition of the listener. The band’s signature energy is no less essential than ever before, but its unique presence has transformed and taken on a significantly more subtle role. The same goes for the technical sophistication of the musical implementation: it is still a driving force but it no longer lunges right into the listener’s face. Much more it clandestinely sneaks up from the – only seemingly! – diffuse atmosphere to ultimately spread with all the force that fans and critics alike have praised.
Production duties were put into the hands of RPWL’s Yogi Lang and Kalle Wallner. The duo has demonstrated great intuition and provided the songs with enough air to breathe and unfold – without restraining the fascinating density that adds another dimension to that multilayered voyage of discovery that is “La Muerta.” The album also includes a guest vocal from Marjana Semkina (IAmTheMorning).
As a counter-pole against its enormously intense predecessor, “The Beacons of Somewhere Sometime”, the creation of “La Muerta” was influenced by a significantly more instinctive approach. The band put the emphasis on transparence in material and production – which inevitably demands the subconscious collaboration of those on the receiving end – in this case: the listener. It is a bold approach: one that is not only testament to Subsignal’s great confidence in its songwriting but also of the appreciation that the band has for its listeners. “La Muerta” proves: risk big and you can win big!
In his lyrics Markus Steffen tackles very personal issues. And in the process he skillfully masters the tightrope act of offering words of great honesty – without playing it safe and drifting into mere ‘poetry of the sensitivities.’ It goes for the album’s lyrics as well as the music: Subsignal’s new record is nothing less than a comprehensive piece of art that does not only radiate great emotionality but also maintains a degree of necessary distance with regards to its own truth. “La Muerta” inevitably touches the listener, but it never forces its audience into a preconceived pattern of thought or perception. On this record, the band lead a clear lyrical way – but it is up to the listener to find, discover and experience the essence of “La Muerta” by means of one’s own eyes and ears.
The current lineup, consisting of Markus Steffen (guitar), Arno Menses (vocals), Ralf Schwager (bass), Markus Maichel (keyboards) and Dirk Brand (drums), has remained unchanged for quite some time and thus become a precisely harmonized team of perfection. It is obvious: the micro-adjustments of musical and mechanical aspects no longer required tending to. Much more “La Muerta” showcases a well-oiled fellowship that passionately puts every last bit of energy into the macro-process of painting the big picture. A new album might always start out as a journey into the unknown, but there is not a shadow of a doubt: right from the beginning the minds behind Subsignal had a very clear idea of where “La Muerta” would take them and how they would get there.
The paths have been marked, the supplies are packed. This is where the adventure starts – enjoy the ride! “La Muerta” is scheduled for release on May 25th 2018 through German label Gentle Art of Music.
01) 271 Days
02) La Muerta
03) The Bells Of Lyonesse
04) Every Able Hand
05) Teardrops Will Dry In Source Of Origin
06) The Approaches
07) Even Though The Stars Don’t Shine
08) The Passage
09) When All The Trains Are Sleeping
10) As Birds On Pinions Free
11) Some Kind Of Drowning
Markus Steffen, guitars
Arno Menses, vocals
Ralf Schwager, bass
Markus Maichel, keyboards
Dirk Brand, drums
Marjana Semkina, vocals
Markus Jehle, piano
Kalle Wallner, guitars
Yogi Lang, keyboards
La Muerta (2018 – GAOM 058)
The Beacons Of Somewhere Sometimes (2015)
The Blueprint Of A Winter (CD-Single 2013)
Out There Must Be Something – Live in Mannheim 2012 (DVD 2012)
Beautiful & Monstrous (2009)