Klimt 1918 – “Sentimentale Jugend” Album Review

Sentimentale Jugend by Klimt 1918

The name Klimt 1918; a reference to the famous Austrian painter and the year he passed away immediately caught the eye of the former art history student in me.  It took less than 5 minutes into the album for me to wonder what I had been missing.  Sentimentale Jugend, the latest album from Klimt 1918 that was out December 2, 2016 from Prophecy Productions.

Chalk this one up with the likes of Hammock, Empathy Test and Deeper Upper.  Trust me, that’s a good thing.

Imagine laying on your back in an open field while staring at the over-cast sky with miles of silence at any radius….nothing but wind and your imagination to keep you company.  You just experienced the atmosphere created by Klimt 1918.  Then again, that could be subjective.  The more you listen to Sentimentale Jugend the more your imagination and nostalgia manifests.

To simply dismiss Klimt 1918 as a “shoegaze” band is almost criminally limiting.  There are quite a lot of things going on in this album.  Hints of 80s new wave and a bit of indie rock balance the album out very well.  The band also cites influences from the 50s and 60s with regard to the instrumentation approach (guitar reverbs, tremolo use, wind instruments etc.) –Marco Soellner-guitar & vox

While I absolutely hate comparisons, they are almost a necessary evil when it comes to promotion. This release will surely appeal to many fans of Jesus and Mary Chain, Cocteau Twins, Hammock, and The Chameleons to name a few. The production on this album is near spot-on perfect for this kind of music.  The kind of purity heard herein is reminiscent of the early 4AD Records days or even My Bloody Valentine’s landmark Loveless album.

Sentimentale Jugend  was released by Prophecy Productions on December 2.  It consists of 2 separate albums – Sentimentale and Jugend totaling 19 songs and 107 minutes. The songs on Jugend are a bit faster than those on Sentimentale. But according to the band, “these are two distinct albums, connected not by a concept but by a sonic impression, a stylistic choice.”

The stand-out track for me is “Nostalghia.”  That is about as close to perfection as you can get; a perfect balance of reflection and a “looking forward” feel.  “Once We Were” starts off with a U2-esque guitar riff and develops into uplifting and soaring majesty.  “Juvenile” has that sort of “end of an 80s movie (credits)” sort of feel.  The final track, “Suspenda E Miserabile Citta” begins with an Italian monologue.  It is a track that lays the perfect ending for the album….slow, crashing, reflective in feel as if the nostalgia of 8 years of hard work are coming to a close.  It is melancholic and hopeful at the same time.

Dreamlike vocals over majestic song structures simple yet very effective echoing guitars (i.e. A Flock of Seagulls’ Paul Reynolds) and lush backdrops of sound.  Sentimentale Jugend actually almost overwhelming to take in all in one listen….very uplifting and almost other-worldly.  At times, gentle and swirling and others, devastating.  Often we find a soft build-up to crushing blow of emotion.  It is a work that is as haunting as it is comforting; as hopeful as it is melancholic and as personal and introspective as it is ethereal and transcendent.  Albums this special are the kind that reach beyond the bounds of themselves, beyond the average “listen” and remind us that in life in general, there is always something to hope for and look forward to.

Sentimentale Jugend is the culmination of 6 years of consistent but occasional work and 2 years of recording. That degree of dedication can certainly be felt herein.  I only have 1 problem with the whole album.  It has an ending.  I just hope it doesn’t take another 8 years to hear the next Klimt 1918 offering.  If it did, however, I’m confident it would be a worthwhile wait.  For now, we have the timeless album Sentimentale Jugend that Klimt 1918 has given us.

Sentimentale Jugend is available in its respective single Cd editions and also available together with the exclusive bonus track “Lycans” as a high-quality book edition (hardcover, 18×18 cm, 48 pages).

As noted, it took the band 6 years of consistent writing and 2 years of rigorous recording to complete this album.  Surely you can take a few moments to listen and support and give the music the respect it commands and deserves.  Because this is just about as perfect as it gets.

Klimt 1918

Track List:

  1. Montechristo
  2. Commande
  3. La Notte
  4. It Was To Be
  5. Belvedre
  6. Once We Were
  7. Take My Breath Away (Berlin cover)
  8. Sentimentale
  9. Gaza Youth Exist Resist
  10. Nostalghia
  11. Fracture
  12. Ciudad Lineal
  13. Saint Angelo (The Sound and the Fury)
  14. Unemployed and Dreamrunner
  15. The Hunger Strike
  16. Resig/Nation
  17. Caelum Stellatum
  18. Juvenile
  19. Suspenda E Miserabile Citta





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