May 2021 28

Kirlian Camera

Cold Pills (Scarlet Gate of Toxic Daybreak)

Format: Album
Label: Dependent
Release date: May 14, 2021

Doctor Image

Angelo Bergamini will forever be in my good book. His involvement with the seminal first album from Hipnosis, one of my all time favourite records, will never be forgotten. Not that he needs this to be remembered. He has kept constantly busy since then, predominantly with genre chameleons Kirlian Camera. Three years after their haunting “Hologram Moon” comes “Cold Pills”. Can it keep up with their level of strength?

Elena Alice Fossi, with her vast vocal range, is the perfect complement to Bergamini’s layered electronics. First track “The Illusory Guest” shows their vitality and, in fairness, their occasional weakness. An ambient piece building nicely, held together by bubbling synths and Fossi’s confidence, but also slightly unfocused and flimsy. The following title track has more punch, albeit it’s still low in tempo. “I Became Alice” comes along, sporting what can only be described as a rockish vibe, far from the laid back feel of the songs preceding it. Not bad by any means, but a bit out of place.

“Crystal Morn” brings them, and me, back to their eighties highlights: their twelve inch diamonds like “Edges”, “Communicate” or “Blue Room”. This is an absolutely stunning piece of atmospheric electropop. Last single “Lobotomine 5″ also shines brightly for the same reasons. “Cold Pills” holds a total of sixteen tracks and most of them roam the atmospheric midtempo region, making it a bit much to take in one sitting. But Kirlian Camera are always intriguing.

So, to answer my own question: yes, their level is still very high. Personally I would love for them to up the tempo here and there, which would bring them even higher. “Crystal Morn” is still one of the best tracks of 2021 so far for me and it shows they still have the weapons in their arsenal. A bit more club feel next time and it will explode.