When I reviewed Monochrome, I wasn’t exactly enthused with the sophomore release from Scandroid, whose debut album set an extremely high bar to clear. At the end of my review, I wished for the next album to “take a little longer” as well as “we get something just a little more evolved”.
Well, I’m very happy to say that was mostly accomplished with the long-awaited release of The Darkness and the Light! While it was always his plan to release this album, there were two previous releases: The Darkness, and The Light. Both have original tracks as well as remixes and instrumentals. While I really enjoyed listening to those original songs, I was holding out for the full third album that would combine them.
Along with those thirteen previously-released tracks, there are an additional six on this album, making for an incredible amount of music. As mentioned above, I wanted a Scandroid album that took its influence and development in synth-/retrowave and go further with it. It’s very clear Klayton has indeed dug deeper and worked more on this material, with so many standout tracks (I have to mention I Remember You and Purified) so unique to show for it. There’s also some tracks that are closer to classic synth-/retrowave, such as The End of Time and Onyx.
One of Scandroid’s unique features when the first album came out was putting vocals to these kind of tracks, and I honestly can’t think of a single song that would have worked better without vocals. His singing voice is unique, along with guest singers as well as any additional processed vocals he puts into the songs. While there may be a few artists where I enjoy just listening to the music, when I put on Scandroid it’s as much about the words he sings along with the glorious synths and booming 80s drums backing them.
If it already wasn’t clear, I am very happy with this album! I am very curious to see where Klayton goes from here, whether he continues to evolve, tries for something really out there, or possibly reigns it back in to get closer to what the debut album had, as different as it was from other releases at its time. I have a pretty good feeling that no matter where the music of Scandroid goes from here, I will be glad to hear it and will be in my regular rotation for a very long time.