The Swedish heavy synth project Alone 1980 has released an impressive collection of instrumental/horror soundtrack-inspired albums in the course of just a little over a year. One EP and six full-length albums filled with analog dread and giallo-heavy vibes since August 2018 means Alone 1980 has plenty to say.
On Alone 1980s latest release, the mysterious and foreboding Voyage, the artist known as Alone 1980 continues his impressive roll of nightmare nostalgia and subtle melancholia. Using woozy synths, vintage vibes, and a knack for creating an underlying sadness under the dread, Voyage might be his most engaging release yet.
With each Alone 1980 album there seems to be a theme involved. Records like Sleepwalker, Abyss, Time, Beyond, and his most recent Waves, all carry with them a sort of musical narrative to follow along to. I imagine those books I’d get as a little kid, the read-along books that came with a record to play. When you’d get to the end of a page you’d hear a “beep” on the album, which told you to turn the page. An incredible illustrated book coming with these albums would be amazing, and maybe something to think about? Anyways, Voyage feels like a theme of space and discovery. Whether the discovery is new lands or new horrors, it’s an engaging trip either way.
The tracks are a mixture of stark dread, woozy calm, and beauty hidden in the darkness. “Nowhere path” opens on an ominous growl of synth. The instrumentation is sparse, giving the track a primal feel. Opening shot of black space engulfing our explorers, not knowing the horrors that await. “The face in space” is a slow build to a panic attack. True blue space madness at its finest, while “Soul snatchers” has sort of an existential drift to it. There’s a sense of discovery and doomed optimism here.
There are Komische vibes throughout(“Psychokinesis”, “Surface”, “Everywhere path”), as well as old school terror vibes(“Two years ago”, “Abduction”, “Dead planet”) that lead up to closer “Star maker”. “Star maker” wraps up the story of Voyage on sort of a melancholy note. 80s-era synths build a wall of hope, regardless the fate of of our “voyagers”.
Voyage is another solid journey into the musical world of Alone 1980. An engaging deep dive into darkness and the light of dying stars that surround us.
7.9 out of 10
Voyage is available now. Listen to it below, then buy it via Alone 1980s Bandcamp page.