Sigmund Faust – Banchō Stanza (2020)

Coming out of Berlin, Sigmund Faust is a solo project by Marc Vogler. The project came about around two years ago and was meant to be something fun and spontaneous. When everything started falling into place, Sigmund Faust took on a life of its own.

The debut album Banchō Stanza started without any direction but slowly turned into a cohesive whole. There is a slight 50s/60s rock vibe to the album where each track goes where it wants to. Each song adds something to the album to create a diverse and complete listening experience.

The first track ‘Halcyon Summer Blue’ has a smooth and soft start. Vogler’s vocal come in clearly and intertwines with the rhythm perfectly. The harmonization used on the track adds to the movement of the song. The inclusion of electric guitars brings the rock vibe to the track without sounding disjointed.

The second track ‘A Verdant Fancy’ has more of the underlying rock vibe. It is also a faster-paced track that makes your body want to move to the beat. The song is easy to listen to and takes you on a different journey compared to the opening track.

‘The Immutable Transmutation Left Heavy Steps In Fresh Snow’ is a long title for a short instrumental track. While this song is only 50 seconds and has no lyrics, the message does come across. There is a pattern to the rhythm that makes the track a great addition to the album.

‘Hiraeth’ carries on some of the melody of the last track with a heavier beat. This song has great transitions between 50s rock and modern indie-rock with faster and slower moments. The vocals work perfectly with the drums and guitar to make you want to sway to the music.

The next track is ‘Cherry-Haze & Brighter Days’ that has a lighter tone to it. This song has a fun vibe to it and makes you think of summer days. This is possibly one of the easiest to listen to tracks of the album leaving you with a small smile when it ends.

‘A Flight Of Heart For Pensive Celebrants’ starts with a great guitar solo and brings the rock influence home. This is another shorter instrumental number that lives up to the title. It has a flighty feel to it while ending on a pensive note.

‘The Bartertown Buzzkills in Sinkhole Stalemate’ is a bizarre title to a song, but thankfully the song is not as strange as you might imagine. Parts of the melody are reminiscent of The Beach Boys with its jive 60s rhythm. Other parts of the track have a more modern rock feel creating an interesting song. This song showcases the versatility of Vogler’s vocals.

Sigmund Faust Bancho Stanza cover.

The next track ‘Black Venom Onikuma’ is a faster track that still draws on that 60s vibe. The rhythm makes you want to jump around. There is an interesting change in the song that makes you listen to the lyrics more and look for the message inside. The slower sections add a new dimension to the song making it a very interesting track.

‘To Sentiments Burdened In Dew – But Will You Write Too-‘ is a rather philosophical title to a track that has a philosophical tone to it. This one-minute instrumental number has all the whimsical nature of philosophy while casting your mind to the possibilities of the world. While short, it is as solid a track as any other on the album.

‘Undertow Kingdom’ has the rock vibe of other songs, but is slightly slower and smoother. The lyrics draw you into the story of the song while the drumbeat keeps you moving. There is a change in the melody and the pitch of the lyrics that add something extra to the song.

‘Roanoke’ has a more laidback vibe to the melody. The vocals are also more relaxed and the lyrics are interesting. While more relaxed than the other tracks, this song still makes you want to move even if it is to sway to the rhythm.

The last track on the album is ‘The Unrelenting Sweetness Of Ash’ and is another instrumental. There is a solid driving beat throughout the track that mixes with the softer tones. It is a song that lets you down easily after the movement of the album and is a great final track.

Banchō Stanza is an interesting mixture of music from Sigmund Faust and shows the diversity on offer. With a 50s/60s rock beat tethering the individual tracks together, the album forms a cohesive unit. Each song tells its own story, but they all add up in the end to an album that is well worth a listen.

Find out more about Sigmund Faust on his Facebook and Bandcamp.

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