Vera : Following on our first encounter with Spiritual Front by seeing them live at Prophecy Fest 2017, we can now – five years after their compilation ‘Open Wounds’ - announce our first review of studio material from this Italian band. ‘Amour Braque’ (French for ‘Mad Love’) appears to be the sixth album for Spiritual Front, founded in 1999. For a long time it remained the solo project of Simone H. Salvatori. Nowadays it happens to be a trio, but this Roman playboy is obviously the leader, mastermind and eye-catcher of this outfit.
They call their music ‘suicide pop’ or ‘catchy ballads for heartbreaker nihilist youth’. Thus we think of gothic rock with a proper dose of decadence, but the musical style happens to be much lighter, because the voice of the front man and his acoustic guitar prevail. Influences from neo-folk, art rock, tango, new wave and country make us drop the term ‘metal’. This is rather a soft (musically), yet intense view on love and sex through the eyes of the protagonist. In other words: a genuine and uncensored analysis of what love and sex is all about, switching between tenderness and rotting shit. Thirteen compact songs lead us through a desolate paradise, with mainly contemplative, storytelling vocals (sometime really low-ranged verging to Sisters Of Mercy or crooners). The musical background is tasteful, now and then a trumpet, lots of sweet strings and a sophisticated band that remains in the background. The whole thing sounds genuine, decadent and dark, although there are too much iterations (repeating the title of the song) in some of the songs and it gradually stays a bit too introvert to really haunt you. Some black humor pops up in the lyrics, Simone’s lyrics come straight from the heart, and many people will appeal to that. In general this will mainly appeal to fans of gothic rock, alternative rock and pop with a depressive edge.