Death in June: Peaceful Snow/Lounge Corps

Death in June
Lounge Corps

Based on his performance throughout both Peaceful Snow and Lounge Corps, Miro Snejdr is a fine pianist. This must be established outright, because he is not to be held responsible for this atrocity of an album. No, the blame for this must lie with Death in June guiding light Douglas P., who sought out Snejdr to play piano for his new album based on some of his YouTube videos of Death in June songs reinterpreted as solo piano pieces.

The problem here is that Snejdr, at least as far as these albums are concerned, uses exactly one style of playing. There is a lot of sustain pedal, giving everything a watery feel. There are lots of octaves in the left hand to make the sound bigger. And there is a lot of flowing ornamentation. That piano — reminiscent on record of Elton John at his least imaginative — forms the backdrop for every single one of Peaceful Snow’s songs, offset only by Douglas P.’s tedious and creaky vocals. That kind of piano work can’t set a mood, and it can’t possibly compensate for lyrics like, “If we don’t neutralize decay / We may run out of tomorrows / Time tryeth truth / And truth was found and fined”. It’s essentially goth-folk piano pop, and comes off just as poorly as that description makes it sound. Douglas P.’s lyrics have turned to caricature, and his and his collaborator’s musical choices simply cannot compensate.

A limited edition version of Peaceful Snow comes with a second disc, a bonus album called Lounge Corps. This disc is entirely Snejdr’s solo piano. It’s a collection of his reinterpretations of older Death in June songs. While there is no more variation in style here than on Peaceful Snow, the absence of Douglas P.’s voice at least allows it to fade into the background.

RATING 2 / 10