Psy'Aviah – Bittersweet (Alfa Matrix)

  Van Muylem    1 april 2022

20 years, that’s the age of this project that all got set up by one man from Belgium: Yves Schelpe. If I got it good the idea was to produce/write songs with each time somebody else singing the vocals. Each album, each EP, each single song must have been a search and crossing fingers that it would work. The fact that we are now 20 years later means that this struggle worked, year after year! I’m more then happy to review all the songs I got send in: 3 full albums!

A needed quote from the PR to understand the idea behind this new album:

On these 13 new songs, Yves Schelpe is taking us sonically one step further in his song writing approach: giving more room to vocalists with harmonies and setting storytelling to high hitting notes, while also widening the place to live instruments in the production - that create a warm, lush and dynamic sound grandeur - thanks amongst others to Irina Markevich on violin and Polina Faustova on cello. The band’s fans will also notice totally revamped versions of the classic PSY’AVIAH songs “Tired” and the mega hit “OK” that both relate to the trilogy’s hard topics (burnout, depression, loneliness, addiction…) and highlighting the importance of reflection and seeing things from the other side…

Opening track is a spoken word: Rainy Repertoire (ft. Dirk De Wachter). It’s almost a spiritual / zen minded track. Yoga is also something that pops up when I listen to this track. It’s the perfect opening track as it also stands for what this project is: mixing knowledge with experience and adding a little extra to make it worth it! Sunbird (ft. Oliviya Nicole) floats a bit and also sends out some ray of lights. The vocals are ok, I checked with my 7 years old girl who only loves song if a women sings gracefully (Sylver, The Bangles, Heart, …). Can We Make It Rhyme (ft. Mari Kattman of HELIX) is a great tracks with roaring machines and the great voice of Mari. I’m happy Yves kept on working with Mari every now and then as she really has a great voice. Cold Summer Nights (ft. Saydi Driggers) has a poppier sound and great vocals (with a melancholic touch, heavenly). Once the song has reached halfway you almost feel the energy and the good vibes (but the lyrics are bitter sweet). Turn Up The Stereo (ft. Lumí) has great potential but somehow I feel the vocals are not mixed as it should in the louder parts. There is also a bit too much of a metallic background slice on the vocals in some parts of the song. Ok (rediscovered) (ft. Huong Su)is one of the highlights so far: I love the acoustic guitar and the strings. The vocals are really pure and sound magical! This ask for more, way more! Pretender (ft. Maysa) is one of the songs I recall from the past. The vibe is right, the song still sounds cool and might be still a song that makes you jump up and down and gives you a wide smile on your face. My Secrets (ft. Marieke Lightband). It’s not the only song where I recall Marieke singing. She has a strong voice, but here again I feel the mixing of the vocals could have been done a bit better during a few moments in the song. The beats are ok, just as the rest of the music: it’s a song that explodes and ends in waves. Healing (ft. Tina Forlorn of Sorrow Stories) is one of the few songs here where the music takes over and the vocals are more put in the background (at least at some moments) and that is a good thing. The trip hop sound works out fine with the lyrics. The Wildness In Me (ft. Eli Rho) has good music, the vocals are ok. The more you listen to it the better it gets and the more you feel the energy! Moonlight Surrender (ft. Rebecca Schneider) somehow is over before I notice it, I had to listen to it 3 times before I could start to review it. I feel a bit of an 80’s touch and some melancholia in it. The vocals are great! The Book Of Life (ft. Eli Rho) goes deeper down the philosophic road and if I got it good I think I heard something that comes close to a guitar sound. It feels like closure, but there is one song left. The last one is called Tired (rediscovered) (ft. Addie Nicole of HALOCENE) and comes somehow close to a typical Lady Gaga sound. The songs also sounds harsher and more aggressive compared to the previous songs. The guitar sound is also cool (and almost sounds like you could call it the new direction).

It's a nice surprise: smooth, modern and filled with some new vocals. The end is really like: wow! I liked it! I hope the fans will follow!

Rediscovered (20th Anniversary)


To celebrate PSY’AVIAH’s 20th anniversary, the first edition of the album will be released as a limited double-CD digipak holding the exclusive 15-track CD “Rediscovered (20th Anniversary)” plus a download link to 12 extra additional songs, with as unique concept here that an eclectic selection of artists wrote their own cover version (music & voice) of one of PSY’AVIAH’s numerous hit songs, or made an all new collaboration with Yves Schelpe in a full redesign of the original track. The result is simply breath taking, bringing us all over the place from synth pop to goth rock, from ethereal wave to EBM, for a stunning collection of songs with a heartfelt message and a sharp sense of melody.

End of quote from the PR, let’s now focus on the music and forget about the past and unveil these pearls!

Madil HardisLost At Sea is the first song and is already a first wow moment. This lady really has a great voice and fits well this one! It’s moving and giving goosebumps! I could write a book about how good this one is but I think a WOW says it all! The Breath Of LifeThe Parts You Can't See sounds like a typical (fragile) The Breath Of Life Track! It’s clear they mastered this song and revamped it in a great way! I can even see them perform it on stage and some people wouldn’t even notice it’s a cover! Simply amazing (the original was with Kyoko Baertsoen, btw)! Clairval ft. Annelies TangheNo More Heroes also sounds like as if they wrote the song and this is the first time it’s on a CD! I hope they will perform it later on on stage too like this! It’s a slow burner with the perfect vocals! A new match made in heaven! Your Life On HoldOur Common End has already been commented in the social media as being one of the great ones. Well: here it’s number 4 in a row! The dark gothic approach is indeed a success and adds something nice to this second album! IC 434 comes with the new version of Anger Management and changing into a new IC 434 song! I adore it and it’s like finally a new IC 434 song! Gosh, I really miss this kind of up tempo electronic music! I feel like DJ’s can also use this song during their set, once the clubs are open again (all over the world)! This is a potential hit! Vulture Culture mixes old school 80’s with the typical Essence of Mind sound with Procedure To Mistrust. It’s a nice discovery! Not a cover but a co-ops comes with Psy'Aviah vs. Cat Hall (Dissonance): Into The Game is a high tempo track, with great beats and the perfect vocals (however the original Ayria vocals are also great)! The song feels like getting a boostershot and a real modern sound! Next one is almost a logic one: Psy'Aviah vs. Implant: In Silence (original from 2007) this revamp reminds me a bit what Blutengel did with their tracks from the past! The new approach got them number one spots in the charts and selling out more and more venues! This is exactly what I’m hoping here! This is a killer version: modern, hard and dancefloor minded! PSY’AVIAH needs an Implant! Digital Factor:Lessons From The Past. Is not my favourite one on this album. The more New Wave / industrial minded approach is a bit too soft for me.

Aesthetische ft. Lis van den Akker: Alcubierre Drive is ok as a song. It needs some time to grow on you before you actually can start to enjoy it. Once past that I can enjoy this different approach and Lis has a great voice, as always! kc woong: Never Look Back is a more bluesy version with male vocals (raw and almost smoked out). The end is really like wow is it already finished! An amazing version! Implant: Nie Wa Da'k Verwacht Had. Translated: Not what I expected! For the first time Implant (Len) sings in Flemish and it sounds really good, like totally unexpected! The sound is typical old school Implant, but the Flemish vocals really took me by surprise! Another wow momentum on this wow album!Psy'Aviah vs. Bow Ever Down: Sunbird becomes a more New Wave/post punk/gothic minded track and is all in all pretty cool! Leæther Strip:The Worst In Me is yet another bombtrack! Old school EBM and top version! Last one is another one by IC 434: Broken Child is another dancefloor filler an dan extra reason to ask for more of IC 434!


Catching The Sun: rediscovered by 808 DOT POP ft. Lis van den Akker goes for a poppy electro version. But can’t overthrow the original: I miss the power of the sun, the butterflies and more power in the vocals, although it comes close. On My Mind is getting rediscovered by Impulse Control Disorder and thus gets male vocals an a bit more guitars and old school synths. It’s not bad, but not my thing (for sure the vocals). The extra beats are really cool, just as the bass. Virtual Gods rediscovered by Fakzility is a hardcore EBM track with screaming hard vocals and hammering a bass sound! This is almost a complete new track and will make it for sure in clubland! This will be a must have for DJ’s! What a great job has been done here! Congratz! I love it! Wild Ride rediscovered by LLUMEN changes it into a good Llumen song with extra beats and a perfect tempo! I hope we hear it soon on stage too! The Great Disconnect rediscovered by Miseram Mortem the female vocals are not my thing as they go a bit too high. I understand what they tried to do and change the song into one of theirs, but it missed something in the vocals to catch me and reel me in. SOS Overdose: performed by Psy'Aviah vs Leaether Strip. I like the fierce Front 242 sound, the beats and the music! This is one of the reasons why you need to follow Leæther Strip (and check the Front 242 cover album)! Something Evil: rediscovered by Designer Violence sounds indeed raw, brutal and evil! This is a nice discovery! Time to check on them!

Home: rediscovered by Hartung & Schleinitz goes for more beats and a more EBM minded approach. The vocals are good and it has become a nice new song. It’s a slow grower, so listen to it as much as you can! The Worst Of Me: rediscovered by Y-LUK-O gets something that mixes pop, electro and Marilyn Manson all in one! Frozen: rediscovered by Cosmic Armchair. Well ages ago I really disliked the vocals of this band, but ok’ed the music. Now I can finally say that the vocals are OK and that is a huge thing! Achteruitkijkspiegel (Never Look Back): rediscovered by Huilende Wolf really reworked it and changed it into a more singer-songwriter song with a juicy accent from Antwerp. This is a nice transformation! The Parts You Can't See (instrumental): rediscovered by The Breath Of Life and changed into an instrumental track by our heavenly voices/gothic friends from Belgium. The Worst In Me (instrumental): rediscovered by Leæther Strip and showing off even instrumentals can be great tracks! Dance along! Last one is Monoculture (12inch club mix): a Soft Cell song covered by Psy'Aviah vs. People Theatre ft. Mari Kattman sounds music wise not so far away from the original but has more power, more volts and a better vibe. I like Mari’s vocals. I also feel it was a deliberate choice to pick out this one as The lyrics also fits well with the general idea’s that Yves Schelpe has. This is a great ending for a succulent birthday party!

Some very wise words to close this all down: Is everything going OK on these bittersweet days? Just listen to the rain, it can’t always be sunshine! But do remember that in pain there’s strength to be found…

The new Psy'Aviah album "BITTERSWEET" is out now, on every imaginable platform! Check it out on your platform or media of choice:
💿 CD (via bonus download):
💾 Bandcamp:
- Spotify:
- Apple Music:
- YouTube Music / Playlist:
- Deezer: