Sound — 9
WARNING: If you don't like or even hate electronic music keep reading and just put it up on Spotify and try to prove me wrong! I know it's Ultimate-GUITAR but I think UG could benefit from this as stated below. So, Trentemller... He may be an electronic artist, but since Ke$ha got an album review I think it's time for another form of electronic music. Not just the banging beats with catchy choruses but more compositions rather then songs. Because I think everybody on UG bashes electronic music and only thinks about Skrillex while there is some much more, and if you're open minded you should give it a chance. This Danish artist is truly an ARTist. With this album "The Last Resort" he proved that electronic music can be anything but superficial. The amount of detail is astonishing. I've heard the opening track "Take Me Into Your Skin", with a duration of over 7 minutes, almost hundreds of times and every time I hear it I discover new things. Noise underneath a synth has subtle panning or a hi-hat pattern has variations you've never heard before! You could say it's progressive electronic because Trentemller has no trouble with a track being 7, 8 or 9 minutes and structures that are everything except verse-chorus-verse-chorus-bridge-chorus. And yes a lot of it comes down to a 4-on-the-floor kick pattern with a snare on the 2 and 4 but the intro of album-opener "Take Me Into Your Skin" (which is my favourite of this album) is over 2 minutes. The first time I heard that intro my view upon electronic music was changed immediately. The way he slowly builds up to a climax, which isn't actually a climax but just a really smooth groove with the main bass pattern, where every layer comes in to contribute the build up shows true craftmanship. He designs songs with sounds rather than writing songs with chords. Every sound has his place to form almost a wall of sound, every synth/sound/FX is in his right place (yes that was a Radiohead reference). The usage of delay and panning are really worth paying attention to. The songs are most of the time really ambient and spacious, though a song like "Vamp" is pretty straight forward. TrentemLler is probably not a big fan of the club beat because where those beats are mostly just massive kicks and snares the rhythmic section in this album is mostly formed by sometimes unidentifiable sounds. Stuff that sounds like fillips or some sort of scratches. White/pink or any noise are used to create a groove and/or ambience. But acoustic drumkits are also used, sometimes just a ride or a snare played with brushes. And the last song on the album "Miss You" (which is my second favourite) has no beat at all, but there is no reason it should have one. The songs are not the best in terms of notes/chords. The bass-riff in "Evil Dub" or "Vamp" or the chord progression of "The Very Last Resort" or "Moan" is not something Bach or Tosin Abasi would write but this album needs a another type of listening. You should compare it to listening to a guitar orientated album and mostly listen to the developing guitar tones. It depends on you if you can find satisfaction in that. I'm giving it a 9 and not a 10 because a that's virtually impossible for an album and I have to admit that I sometimes drift off and it can't hold my attention for it being too ambient or abstract. But changing my whole view upon electronic music with just one song is more than impressive.
Lyrics — 8
There is no singing on this album. Only spoken words in "The Very Last Resort" and on another version of "Moan" so I'm just going to put an 8 here and save space to talk more about the music. In the overall impression section I'm going to talk about how you should look, listen and feel about this album. I'm writing this because this field requires a minimum of 500 characters, where this album requires another type of listening if you ask me. You should focus on other stuff than the notes and chords if you're not familiar with electronic music.
Overall Impression — 9
If you're going to give it a chance I'll give you the advice to not listen to it as rock-, metal or pop-album. I also listen to bands such as Meshuggah and if you listen tot hem you're not in it for the vocal melodies or crescendo's (yes I know their track "Obsidian" but that's not your average Meshuggah track). You're primarily in it for the raw power and the aggression. And you're not going to listen to Bob Dylan for outstanding rhythms but for the meaning and the songwriting. Of course every artist covers all the aspects of music but I think listening to Meshuggah requires a different approach than listening to Dylan to enjoy it the most. This album requires attention for the songwriting in a more texturized way to listen and feel the layers more than the actual notes. So I can advise every guitarist to try it and get inspiration from it. You are more than free to not like it, but I'm trying to convince you that the whole electronic music requires no skill, it's just pressing keys on a MacBook' is not true. Instead of "just pressing your fingers on frets and using your hand to strum strings" to express yourself and transfer emotions you can do it with electronic music. There is so much amazing music out there you maybe never have heard. Funny note: Marten Hagstrom from Meshuggah loves electronic stuff like Aphex Twin.