First review to appear for Still Living’s new album Ymmij is from Spanish site ViriAOR. For those (like me) whose understanding of the language is poor; here an English translation:
Still Living is a Brazilian band created in 2004, which would initially release two demos, Still Living (2005) and Believe (2007). After some changes in their training, they release two albums, From now on in 2012 and Humanity in 2015.
Its members are: Renato Costa on vocals, Eduardo Holanda on guitar, Cleber Melo on drums and Thiago Nascimento on keyboards.
YmmiJ, which is the album that concerns us today, is, therefore, his third album that will go on sale on December 8.
The first thing that calls the attention of YmmiJ, is its strange title, I was thinking about the meaning for a while, until I finally hit on it, but I’m not going to advance anything, to see if the readers discover it.
The cover, has a very worked design, is a comic where it shows a bar of drinks and the band playing live, very curious.
After a first contact with the subjects, I notice that there are some cuts that are spoken, it took me a while to realize, it’s a story! what a surprise! It is a narrative conceptual disc that presents spoken parts and dialogues that assemble the songs to reveal the story of Jimmy, a man trapped in alcohol and drugs, fighting against his own demons. Throughout the disc, other characters will appear as they are, Jane and Stranger, the latter is something like a hallucination or perhaps the voice of conscience.
The disc begins with Reign of pills, where the protagonist begins to reveal his tormented life, a half time of melodic hard rock. It reminds me a lot of the melodic style of the current “Italian school”.
On the Edge and Call of the night – are more dirtier rock songs, with an energy that is almost sleazy rock.
In Dusty Blue Shadow – we find Jimmy talking to Stranger, Stranger pretends that Jimmy faces his fears, it is an energetic theme and a catchy chorus.
Listen to Me – (spoken)
The Man I’ve Become – a track in nineties style, remind me, on occasion, to 91 Suite.
King Of Nothing – another up tempo cut, the rhythmic base hits incisively, concluding the subject in a darker way with a heavy riff.
In a more relaxed atmosphere we find Haunted where the voice of Renato Costa shines in its fullness, which is able to find the vocal balance in each theme, whether it is a ballad or a hard rock theme.
Peace or Pieces – a guitar in the most classic style opens a theme that will turn into a half-time with a rough drumming.
Who Are You? – (spoken)
Mr. Mirrow – more complex, consists of four parts, which introduces the Stranger character in the form of a ballad in a splendid vocal and piano exercise, then it will become a second part more cane to finish the final part in a slow and harmonious way.
I.M. Jimmy, like a cry of help from Jimmy, where the voice looks torn with great contribution of keyboards.
Jane – (spoken) conversation between Jimmy and Jane
Cult of the Rough Awakening – energetic hard rock, where Jimmy shows all his frustration.
In The Dark / As Shallow as It Gets – (spoken-instrumental), here the story is concluded, the end of which I will not reveal and an instrumental closure with orchestral arrangements is added, which impregnate an epic character.
Redemption is an added track for the European edition. Accompanying the piano, magnificent vocal harmonies, spectacular, it would have been a shame to leave it out.
It is an album of melodic hard rock, intelligent and ambitious, where the lyric intention and the instrumentation are found, constructing a stimulating story, in which although the hardrock themes are very meritorious, but the middle times and the ballads are the jewels of the disk. The interpretation of Renato Costa favors the different atmospheres to give meaning to the concept of the disc.
Oh and by the way you have already discovered the riddle of the disc title?
Thank You Alicia!