Inside is a one man studio project/band by Ronny Mata from Costa Rica and you can take that literally. For his debut "Echoes from a Broken Soul" which came out in december 2016 through bandcamp, he played all instruments, mixed it, produced it and created the artwork. Admirable and bold, doing everything yourself without any help from outsiders is a long, arduous journey. A humbling experience that confronts you with your shortcomings and can fill you with self doubt but let's get back to the album. The keyword for "Echoes from a Broken Soul" is atmosphere and considering the title, you can immediately expect what sort of atmosphere. It almost literally reeks of shattered dreams, melancholy and cheap red wine. A nice novelty is that Mata tries to achieve his goal with very limited means.
There are no vocals on this digital EP and no drums either. It's all piano, keyboards and guitars. Again, admirable and bold but does Mata make it all work? Euhm... It starts promising with the minimalistic intro, follow-up "Memories" isn't too bad either. It's just a very, very sad rhythm guitar with some leads and fills to fill it up. Perhaps a bit cheesy but that's okay, sometimes I like a slab of questionable meat with a tranche of greasy, yellow substance but enough about my drunk nights out.
"Cemetery Gates" is a piano piece that really just sounds nice. The title track and "Just for a Moment" are a bit too reminiscent of "Memories" to appeal to me. The second last track "Promise" is a bit different in that sense that Mata comes up with a straight up but elaborated post rock piece à la Japanese veterans Mono. A nice effort but Mono is Mono and they have written the proverbial book on flushing the audience away in a reverb and delay filled tsunami and truth be told, Ronny Mata mixed this all wrong. "Between to [sic] Souls" is just the outro that nicely matches the intro. There is definitely talent here. The actual recordings are nicely done, the guitar tone is nice and all. As a debut it is promising but it has still significant shortcomings. "Echoes from a Broken Soul" revolves too much around atmosphere and doesn't offer real "substance".
Between the intro and outro I never have the feeling that there is something being communicated or a story being told. There is too little variation to keep me interested for 18 minutes. I'd definitely like to hear from Mata but first he might want to change his MO first. Was it Josh Homme that once said that you're never as good on your own as you are with other musicians?
- Ivo VirusWithShoes -