- Liz Publika
Album Review: Saga by Dark Model
Sometimes, just sometimes, it would be nice to add a soundtrack to our lives ― like when we’re doing something adventurous, possibly dangerous, or downright epic. In those particular instances, mainstream music can be too pop and lyrical to reflect the bigness of the moment. But Saga, the second album by Tatsuya Oe’s latest project Dark Model, may be exactly what we need. Released on March 27th, the record is a dramatic venture into a musical world constructed of orchestral electronica carefully infused with symphonic embellishments, and it is both incredibly weird and fantastically awesome.
Not quite fitting the industrial category, being a tad too melodic for the genre, the album may appeal to fans of techno, choir music, and bands like early Samael, Skinny Puppy, Ministry, KMFDM, and The Faint. Featuring thirteen tracks, three of which are no-choir remixes, Saga is a high-energy album that ranges from Middle-Eastern inspired trans (“Danse Macabre”) to something you would hear at a Dante-inspired rave event (“Rage and Redemption” or “Inferno Suite”). Perhaps that’s why Dark Model’s music has appeared in trailers for films such as “Elysium” and "Money Monster.”
“I would like to let fans and listeners know I hope Dark Model's music will be a kind of ‘motivational music’ for their daily life, by making them feel like a hero," shared Oe. Though I can’t say that I would be able to listen to the album on a daily basis, I can definitely see myself putting on one of the many tracks before embarking on an epic wilderness adventure, during a high-speed car chase, or while creating a seriously impressive montage of myself doing something risky. “Survivors,” for example, is ideal for a 80s inspired athletic sequence, but “Labyrinth,” being the only recording to forgo electronic components, is appropriate for a more somber ― but still epic ― event.
Oe refers to his recordings as “Musical Narratives,” since every track does seem to contain its own story with a beginning, middle, and an end. You can hear it in the progression of the music in “Avalon,” “Storm Goddess,” and “Dawn of Resurrection.” Interestingly enough, the title of each track also reveals a lot about the tone of the music on it. “Elegy” is slightly plaintive and the “Prelude” does sound like it’s leading up to something. In the end, Saga truly makes you feel like you’re embarking on adventure full of heroic exploits, which is exactly what the award-winning producer wants.
Note* Album provided for objective review by our partners.