Miracle, The Strife of Love in a Dream (Relapse Records, 2018)

Miracle is a duo comprised of Steve Moore, one-half of Zombi and the score composer of the horror films Cub and Mayhem, and Daniel O'Sullivan, a multi-instrumentalist who has collaborated with such artists as Ulver, Æthenor, and Sunn O))).

The musicians met while on tour in 2006 and have been releasing music as Miracle ever since. The Strife of Love in a Dream is their second full-length, and it finds Moore and O'Sullivan mining from the dark synthpop and forward-thinking dance music of the '80s. Think Depeche Mode and Cabaret Voltaire, but with the cinematic flair of Tangerine Dream coursing through the songs. 

This is the kind of music that I prefer to soak in with headphones on. The synthesizer lines are usually the focal point in Miracle's arrangements, but there are tons of sonic nuances to be found when you listen closely. That might mean a processed background vocal, like on the hypnotizing track "The Seventeen Nineties," a song that serves as an ideal sampler for what Moore and O'Sullivan are doing with this project. "Light Mind" comes earlier on the album, and showcases the more straight-forward side of Miracle's sound. It's a pulsating cut that features a vocal that brings to mind Sisters of Mercy's Andrew Eldritch and doesn't let up till its closing moments.

I mentioned Depeche Mode earlier in the review, and there's a song here called "Dreamours" that reminds me of those killer Martin Gore-sung ballads in their catalog. On The Strife of Love in a Dream closer, "Angelix," Moore and O'Sullivan work a slow-burning arrangement for close to nine minutes, but its dramatic atmospherics keep you engaged throughout, much like the rest of the album.

The Strife of Love in a Dream will be out on Feb. 16 and can be pre-ordered at the links below.

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Tagged: miracle synthpop