There’s a world of turbulent energy inside of Verena von Horsten, and she allows a release of power on her second solo album, Alien Angel Super Death. The Zürich, Switzerland artist finds relief in her art, which is at times angry, but more often empowering.
“The Hymn” opens the album with a long drum roll that swells into low synths. Punk-ish vocals and electronic riffs fill the space, and it’s almost amazing that so many layers of sound work as well together as they do, but they do. “All About” brings vulnerability in a gentleness and transitions the record into “Sweet Lullabye”. This track combines elements from the first two and shows off von Horsten’s range. It’s Metric-style angry pop and makes for an album highlight.
The vocals on “Sakrament Der Büffelherde” are reminiscent of Riot Grrrl pioneer Kathleen Hanna, which is a testament to the emotional capacity of the song. At eight and a half minutes long, the track is epic, but is aptly succeeded by the cinematic fullness of “The Monster”. “Fire” keeps the vocals on the surface as the music threads experimentally. There is a strong and intriguing sense of movement here.
“What You Say” is fast and dense. An electronic track more than anything, reigniting the punk vibes. In fact, the track is so strong that it requires a second track to bring it down, which “The Love We Have Forever” achieves. Here we reach what is perhaps the most innovative segment of the album. “A Healing Moment” is just what it says on the tin. A soft piano brings safe ambiance and the track is a moment for breathing, for experiencing, before “The Believer” closes the album with layers and dark synths. It feels like a reminder of “The Hymn”, in a way, a full circle of empowerment.
When Verena von Horsten’s songs aren’t powerful in volume and rage, they are emotionally potent. Alien Angel Super Death is a journey, and one you won’t regret. Check out Verena von Horsten at her website, Facebook page, and SoundCloud.