NYVES (pronounced Knives) is the electronic project by Ryan Clark, the vocalist in Demon Hunter, and Randy Torres, formerly of Project 86. It was launched as a Kickstarter side project where they asked for $50,000 in order to fund their debut full-length album, ‘Anxiety’. It was to be a massive success with 2,104 backers pledging $82,702 to help bring this project to life.
Ryan Clark stated “As a designer, having created the aesthetic surrounding Demon Hunter, as well as dozens of other bands, I’ve always been enthralled with the visual identity behind a music project. With NYVES, I want to create a visual language that transcends the average. As a collector myself, with an appreciation for fully-realized artistic expression, I would love the opportunity to bring NYVES to life with a bang — offering multiple physical formats of the record itself, as well as shirts, posters, and other items that further expand the world of NYVES.”
Ryan and Randy have known each other for many years, but it wasn’t until 2006 when they were both living in Seattle that they would firmly cement that friendship. And it took until 2013 before they decided that they would like to work on a music project together. The band name NYVES predates the Project 86 album, ‘Knives To The Future’ and they opted to spell the word phonetically so that it would be easier to identify.
It starts off hushed as ‘Return’ sees Ryan longingly singing “Where do you go, I’ve seen you wander off alone into the cold, the darkness overtakes you whole, I wanna know are you still the one who’s in control, out on your own, when you feel it caving in, come home, Whatever it is, No matter the cause, Return to me.” This blends into ‘Something Divine’ as it continues on its calm approach that reminds me of Tangerine Dream. The percussion is much more insistent in ‘Smoking Gun’ and ‘Just Give Up’.
Then there is the thought-provoking ‘Parasites’ with its choral backing vocals. “For us there will be no idle threat, no trust, in the absence of a call we rust, we will gladly turn it all to dust, now that the world has gone to Hell, we can live our lives, and nobody will ever tell, that we’re parasites”. It takes a more upbeat stance as they cover The Psychedelic Furs, ‘Love My Way’. “Love my way, it’s a new road / I follow where my mind goes”. This is followed by a delicate piano ballad in ‘Fools’.
It picks up tempo for ‘The Exit’ and couples with ‘Fall Behind’ as they cement the comparisons with Depeche Mode. ‘Idle Thoughts’ ebbs and flows “I was wrong to bring you here / But I can see there is a place beyond the light for you and me”. It all rounds off with ‘Light’ with its declaration “I believe in resurrection / I believe when others doubt / It keeps me further out / I believe it’s no illusion”.
Reviewed by Peter John Willoughby
2. Something Divine
3. Smoking Gun
4. Just Give Up
6. Love My Way
8. The Exit
9. Fall Behind
10. Idle Thoughts
Record Label: Spartan Records, June 2015
Lyric video: ‘Idle Thoughts’
Video below: ‘Return’