The thing about Alexander Veljanov's solo albums is that they will always be compared to what he does as half of Deine Lakaien. This is unfortunate as his two previous outings under his own name have been splendid little affairs tailored more to an introspective countenance, embellished by some surprisingly harrowing lyrical narratives. Now on leave from Deine Lakaien, Veljanov gives us a most tantalizing new record replete with curious instrumentation, stunning arrangements and, of course, that Voice.

"Porta Macedonia" has provoked some controversy in certain quarters due to it's name alone. Weather or not this is intentional on the part of our German/Macedonian hero remains to be seen. But one thing is certain, people are talking about his new work in greater numbers than ever before. With good reason.

Listening to the intonations of "Nie Mehr" you are taken out of the mundanity you lead as a life and put in a dimly lit café around closing time. The half-time breakbeat drives you on into the darkened recesses of your own subconscious (check out the video for this song to get a better idea of what I'm talking about). "We Can't Turn Back" wrenches at your emotions, it culls the herd. "His Vita" and it's spidery guitar work almost takes on a regal tone of resigned despair. Is it the march of the doomed or the damned he seeks to illuminate?

A lot of what Veljanov aims for he hits magnificently, the death of hope being a primary target. The loss of belief, the well with no end in sight which one tumbles down without end. "Porta Macedonia" may not be everyone's desired cup of tea but to me it's everything he sought to do with Run Run Vanguard filtered through the experiences life and age have sent his way. The man is doing some serious thinking here and so should you.