The abrogation of our past
We will bleed forever
Because we signed a tainted pact
The entrancing sounds of post-punk and darkwave collide in the debut album of Danish artist Hadrian Esteves’ project, Pulsations. Entitled Tainted Covenant, this ten-track opus showcases Esteves’ praiseworthy production prowess.
‘Tainted Covenant‘ delves into the complexities of modern society: technological addiction, socio-economic inequality, and the dangerous grip of religious dogma. With a commanding presence and a powerful voice, Esteves guides the listener through a journey of self-discovery and introspection.
It’s not just the deeply poignant themes that make ‘Tainted Covenant‘ so striking; Esteves’ rich and layered instrumentation is enthralling, with ethereal guitar riffs, dense and pulsing bass lines, and the atmospheric synth layering. The album effortlessly blends darkwave, post-punk and industrial genres into a unique and captivating sound, but the lyrics are hard-hitting and deeply critical of the blitzkrieg of technology’s effects on modern life.
The album opens with the sermonic track “Dopamine Sensitisation,” where Esteves wastes no time in laying out our contracts with the devil. Humanity has inked Faustian deals with artificial intelligence, creating schisms and pitfalls with sociopolitical ramifications we know not yet. The track’s hypnotic rhythm and haunting vocals convey a sense of urgency and warning, setting the tone for the entire album.
“Delusional Paragon” dives into cancel culture and the hold advertising has on authentic creative expression. Who are the morality police, and what power do they wield? The track features a driving bass line and sinister synths that echo the unsettling theme of censorship and manipulation in a world obsessed with appearances.
“A New Hellenism” explores themes of debt and the grip capitalism has on our collective core. The song’s somber tone and melancholic melody highlight the hopelessness many feel as they struggle under the weight of economic inequality. Esteves’ vocals soar above the instrumentation, delivering a poignant message about the need for change in our modern society.
“Reckless Son” delves into heartbreak, brainwashing by the media, and acceptance of tyrannical leadership at the cost of the environment. The track’s pulsating rhythm and mournful guitars underscore the pain and disillusionment that often accompany a loss of innocence. Esteves’ powerful lyrics serve as a call to arms for those willing to challenge the status quo and fight for a better future.
“Neglected Synapses” touches on a lifetime in plague, failing the younger generations, and a mournful atmosphere. The track’s somber, introspective melody and haunting lyrics capture the despair and sorrow of witnessing society’s downward spiral. The song serves as a sobering reminder of our responsibility to future generations and the urgent need for change.
“The Hedonic Paradox” delves into pleasure and pain, shades of Orwell’s 1984, and shared passion in the wake of Armageddon. The song’s dynamic, dystopian soundscapes evoke a world on the brink of collapse, while the emotive vocals convey the desperate search for solace in an unforgiving world. The track serves as a stark commentary on humanity’s insatiable quest for pleasure, even at the expense of its own survival.
“Technophobic Hubris” addresses greed, environmental disaster, and planned obsolescence. The track’s relentless rhythm and aggressive synths create a sense of impending doom, while Esteves’ searing vocals lay bare the consequences of humanity’s unchecked ambition. The song serves as a warning against the perils of unchecked technological progress and the devastating impact it can have on our world.
“The Theory of Turbulence” explores communication, spiritual awakening, and resistance to tyranny. The track’s driving bass and soaring melodies create an atmosphere of defiance and hope, while the lyrics urge listeners to unite against oppressive forces. The song serves as a powerful anthem for those seeking to break free from the chains of societal control and embrace their own spiritual and personal power.
“Nontheistic Mysticism,” tells a Jesus tale; a spiritual awakening gone awry, and holding on to what’s right. The track’s atmospheric synths and ethereal guitars create a dreamlike quality, while the lyrics recount a tale of spiritual struggle and personal redemption. The song serves as a potent reminder of the importance of staying true to one’s beliefs, even in the face of overwhelming opposition.
It’s no surprise that Pulsations has been met with critical acclaim for their previous singles, but with ‘Tainted Covenant‘, the band has truly outdone themselves. The album is a masterful piece of lyricism and musicianship, showcasing Pulsations’ unique style and creative depth.
Tainted Covenant was recorded in Copenhagen, Denmark, and mixed and mastered by Lalo González. The album is available now in 12″ Vinyl, Digipak CD, and digital streaming formats via Swiss Dark Nights Records.