Album: The Certainty of Forever
Code (IAMTHESHADOW) All songs composed and recorded by. Matt Howden –
Violin on “Made to Break. Herr G – Bass on “To Give” Victor
Moria – Piano “Through empty Spaces” Goncolo Mota – Piano “To
Mastered: Andre Castro
Cover Photo by Zinblume
I have been so lucky to find a waterfall of bands I love and get to write about. Sometimes I come across something truly transcendent,. Something that takes the depth and darkness of human nature in a way that wrenches your heart, but strikes such beauty that it fills you with rapture. It’s like standing in the rain staring at the place you first met them and remembering they are gone forever. That is what it is like to hear “The Certainty of Forever” 20 glorious tracks laying out a story of heart felt passion.
Sometimes when I have a particularly difficult review to describe I focus on a single word to anchor me back to the concept I am hearing and build on it. For The Dream Collision that word is resonance. It resounds with you emotionally, in depth of the lyrics, with the balance of the instruments, with Pedro’s room filling voice. The enormity of the experience inside the vastness of emptiness in the space between.
Pedro Code (IAMTHESHADOW) has laid himself raw and exposed in a Nick Cave meets Dead Can Dance masterpiece touching such classical notes of emotive power. The gentle weight of the piano lines pressing on you while you are caressed by violin and lifted from below by rich bass lines. The sound is tender and full of anguish, I felt myself moved to the point it became difficult to take in all at once.
Pedro has brought in friends and family to create a true glimpse into the core of a human contemplating his darkest musings. His voice remains one of the most intense and lovely in the genre. The connection he feels with the people creating this record with him is so apparent in every track. Each song is a story of his love and fears free of pretense. I challenge you to not be stirred by this personal offering.
I had some standout tracks I felt really spoke to me:
Cutting Deep – This tender and flowing ballad with string movement and sensitive melodies set a stage for Pedro to shake the silence with his romantic baritone. “Maybe some colors, I can achieve. Life is so wrong, in me. That it cuts me deep in.” The exposed anguish on display here is memorizing. The question “Am I so wrong, am I so sick?”
Blackbirds – These Peter Murphy flowing synth pads weave a web behind a gentle spoke word verse. The piano lifts the tension. “But the lines won’t break, blackbirds stay here” The silky flow of the strings brushing a finger until the drums grow and open up the sky. It’s impossible to not feel the passion of delivery and become lost in the beauty of the moment. His voice goes to the higher range and finds a hopeful tone.
It Seems Like (Mother) – The back draw drums paving a place for the piano line. The haunting delivery of his lyrics, the feeling behind them is transferable. He flows in and out of the meter and calls out with gentle longing. “It seems like the snow fell, it’s true. The sky dropped that night, on you” beautiful heartbreak and exposed courage.
I am a huge fan of what Pedro does with IAMTHESHADOW. It’s music to feel and listen to. This album though strikes such an inspirational and personal place. It feels like you were let inside someones more dangerous feelings and memories. I’m Awestruck, share in the experience with me.
(Ken) This album left me shaken my friend. The depth of emotion here is beautiful and terrifying. Tell me about the themes present in your creation? what moved you to make it?
(Pedro) If it makes you feel and shake, my job is done…:D to tell you about my songs is to tell you about my life…my dreams, my despair, my love, my pain… to compose The Dream Collision is to face my demons with my angels, letting them fight knowing no one will win. i just pick up the pieces of what is left. all this songs are what i am, putting all simple…
(Ken) Your son and friends played on a track. Tell me about that experience and your pride in his ability?
‘ (Pedro) My son made one song… “To the Moon” in piano… he was playing at my house and as soon i listened i was overwhelmed by what i was listening and i told him” you will record this to my album!”. I did the second pianos and the atmosphere involved in the track… I know and feel he could be a great musician, but he doesn’t know that yet. I’m especially proud for whom he is, and that he has one of the best parts of me… my passion for the piano. For this album I also decided to invite some friends to play… Vitor Moreira and Rui Geada from IAMTHESHADOW, I wanted to have their emotion on this album. it was achieved I believe. I had Matt Howden too, without need of presentation. he is a great violinist. I’m extremely proud to have all these names in my Dream, sharing my emotions. I can not forget the person that made all this possible…Sandra (Zinn Blume)., my best friend and a true light in all this dark.
(Ken) This album was so organic in a digital age of modern dark music. Was the contrast on purpose and how did that lend itself to the final sound?
(Pedro) Nothing is on purpose in what i do in music, I only speak my truth from the heart. The base is always the piano and the image i had inside while composing these songs, they led me to the final result. I cannot tell you. If i could have, I would had a true orchestra recording besides true analog synths..for me the music is not old or modern… is just true or not.
(Ken) How was making this record different emotionally from IAMTHESHADOW?
(Pedro) For me they have for me the same depth and emotion…but the result..the final impact is very different. and what I’m trying to say is that as a listener, i feel these two projects in a different way, but the way i write is the same. I don’t write for Iamtheshadow or The Dream Collision. i write for me, because i need to. The Dream is more raw… with no compromises. Iamtheshadow is for obvious reasons compromises my band mates.
(Ken) Tell me about where you recorded the album and how did that place influence the sound you made?
Places don’t really influence my writing. Only the places within myself and the doors I open for it…i recorded the record at home as i always do.. It’s necessary for my emotional state and nothing besides me or what i feel affects the way i compose.
(Ken) What is next for The Dream Collision ?
I sincerely don’t know… sometimes i feel that this album is a great way of ending my Dream…but on the other hand… i don’t want to end me. Is like life. I take it one day at a time. Sometimes i think of playing live…lets see .
(Ken) This album has such personal lyrics and expression, how did you overcome the weight of that and what did it mean for you in terms of your growth as an artist?
I can never seem to overcome the weight of my feelings and emotions.. its a everyday struggle…my music helps me to deal with that, to know myself better and i just hope it helps me to grow as a human being. If i achieve that i will be a better artist. Sometimes when i listen one of my finished songs, I understand more of who i am, why i feel what i feel, and what i want from life. In someway I know its my purpose. to feel this and to compose this.
(Ken) If you could add this album as the soundtrack to any film, what would you choose and why?
(Pedro) That is a difficult one….i can imagine The Dream Collision in many movies, because of the pace, motion, intensity…There are some good films that are passionate, intense and somewhat sad, but no film in particular. I will ask you the same question. what film would you choose for this songs? My songs are feelings, experiences and images inside me. Its difficult to connect it with a vision from someone else…
Its one of my dreams i didn’t achieve yet… to do a soundtrack for a movie and i expect that i can do it soon enough.
(Ken) If I get to pick I would choose “Wings of Desire” the film by Wim Wenders. The imagery of the traipse artist with the angel watching in the background, I feel like it the perfect counterpart.
(Ken) You are playing the Cold Transmission festival in July. I am beyond excited I will get to see you preform live. What does this festival mean to you?
(Pedro) Yes it will be a great pleasure to meet you finally! I am excited to be with many friends I haven’t seen for some time, like Andreas and Susan! I know it will be a great night of music with great bands. Iamtheshadow have been playing some festivals in Europe in the last few years and its always a great experience. Its something that is unforgettable. To share all this emotions in a festival.