When I initially sat down to type up the review to Fotocrime’s sophomore record, South of Heaven, I was wearing my most favorite tee which happens to be a Coliseum one and I had plans to loosely compare it to Slayer’s album of the same name and the similar moods within each. But after listening through several times, former Coliseum mouthpiece/guitarist Ryan Patterson deserves to be seen in his own light on an album that defies the mold and finds Patterson’s true voice.
But I digress.
The follow up to 2018’s Principle Of Pain finds R (Ryan Patterson) defiantly shedding the last skin of Coliseum and delivering a tour-de-force of modern Post-Punk. There’s something inherently soothing about the way R crafts songs and the way his voice mixes with those hypnotic beats and perfect merging of conflicting guitar and bass tones. “Invisible” takes that theory and runs with it to kick off the album as R’s spoken word style delivery rings out amongst the Bauhaus meets Joy Division sounds which provide a haunting accompaniment.
“Foto On Wire” is the true mood setter, though, with its’ rumbling bass bravado and wailing guitar lines screaming like early Killing Joke while “Up Above The World” has a dreamy Mike & The Mechanics vibe mixed with She Wants Revenge. Next, “Hold Me In The Night” is Bowie-esque especially if you put the track within the world created for Outside.
“Never Fall Out Of Love” pulsates, marching towards a clashing of synths and sounds to astounding results and later, “Expulsion From Paradise” is a powerful blast of dark Pop in the vein of I Love You But I’ve Chosen Darkness.
The first taste of South of Heaven came in the form of “Blue Smoke” which, within the sonic tapestry of the record, stands out still with a bass-heavy blast but the real stand out comes next when “Chaos & Cosmos” subtly enters with a fierce bombast and epitomizes the kind of modern Post-Punk Fotocrime was bred to produce. And if you though the conclusion would be any less electric then you are sorely mistaken as “Tough Skin” ferociously enters with beats straight out of the ’80’s (Lou Gramm’s “Lost in the Shadows” from The Lost Boys immediately comes to mind here) and a glimmering New Wave sheen.
South of Heaven lands on March 13th through Profound Lore. Pre-orders are live now and can be yours by clicking here or here. For the latest on Fotocrime, including where you can see them live on their upcoming tour, follow the socials by clicking here, here, or here.