Hypaerion - Review
This band just keeps the creative juices flowing as they churn out one album after another.
Here we have their fifth album of solid gothic rock music. While the album only spans seven tracks, they are all nice selections with some of them quite long, so there's no lack of great music here.
The title track opsn the album as a dark and brooding mostly instrumental piece with some spoken word and melodic chanting vocals as it builds to a bombastic, dynamic climax. The excellent single "Elysion" kicks in at this point with a solid gothic rock sound with the heavy rock beat, driving mix of guitars over subtle synths that add extra body to the overall track all while the deep, heavy vocals take the forefront. This piece is sure to take a place amongst classic gothic rock tracks for years to come and one that should fill the dancefloor at the local bat cave. Continuing in much the same fashion we move right into "Garden of Light" which has quickly become a favorite for me. Again, all the solid elements you could ever want for a solid gothic rock track is here on this piece for moving, dance-friendly piece. However, it's not all about doom and gloom with this band. While still maintaining a definite goth style they mix it up a bit with an upbeat fun track "Laylah" with staccato bass and a syncopated rhythm. "Of Cats and Mice" launches us right back into the gothic rock tracks with this being another solid selection in this classic style.
As with most of their albums, they manage to throw a dark and brooding anthem or experimental piece in the midst of it all and in this case we're presented with "Procession". This heavy piece really goes dark with the heavy, grinding guitar over a slowly moving beat that coupled with the title brings to mind the dark and depressing processions from South American towns in the medieval ages. The overall track is over fourteen minutes long, while this song spans a good nearly nine minutes, after some dead air the remaining four minutes continue with a haunting, minimalistic experimental piece. To wrap up the album we're presented with "White Snow" in a slower mid-tempo piece while still featuring all the great elements we love from this band. This wraps it up well with the somber moods putting a final seal on another great work from this band.
Visionaers - Review
Presenting this band's fourth release in as many years, we are pleased to continue to hear something new from them so often.
This release is presented across seven powerful tracks spanning nearly an hour of music. Over the years we've grown to love and enjoy the powerful classic gothic rock style from this band. They manage to create unique dark rock elements spanning emotionally spellbinding soundscapes structured by driving rhythms, heavy signature bass and dark, deep, solid vocals.
All of these elements combine for a solid mix on this latest work from these artists. After a dark, spoken-word intro in "Dawn of an Era", we're thrown right into a definite favorite and new classic from this band in the form of "Visions". Everything comes together perfectly on this track from the classic gothic rock sound, the heavy bass, lilting guitar at some points and grinding guitar for the dynamic crescendos at other, all layered together as a perfect canvas and backdrop for the dark, at times harsh vocals. The thematic elements of this and other tracks are mystical and supernatural in nature creating a haunting, yet driving and dance-friendly mood. This nearly perfect piece carries on for over seven minutes just like other favorites from ages past from these and other artists. Abruptly coming to a halt we're immediately introduced to another dark, moving piece in "Quaalude Tango". This piece features heavier, grinding guitar along with the other solid, typical elements for an even darker edge to it. Like it's predecessor, this masterpiece also drives on for over seven minutes of solid dark, gothic music.
As the album moves along, for the most part things get heavier, darker and edgier across each piece. Most are longer, featuring plenty of music to enjoy regardless of location, perhaps on the dance floor or while just sitting back and listening to great music. The mood and tempo shifts from track to track with "Transmigration (Stormed)" bringing the tempo down a bit and at first the intensity wanes, but soon builds up for a powerful piece including subtle electronics pulsating under the driving and soaring guitars. As we move into "Star Casualties" we're brought back to more of that solid gothic rock sound familiar to fans from the early 90's with the sounds of Nosferatu, The Wake
and Sisters of Mercy
. As a definite favorite on the album, this one lends itself well to the club and radio waves coming in at just over five minutes. With so much packed into this piece, from the driving guitars and moving beat we're mesmerized with the excellent rhythms that mix perfectly with the swirling club lights glinting off silver buttons and buckles from pirate shirts and buckle boots. "Black Swan" picks up in much the same fashion, but this piece later takes a turn into the dark and brooding underworld of heavy bass, distorted guitar and an onslaught of reverb over everything, creating a heavy emotional fog that hangs over everything and permeates the air with the music.
At this point we come to our finale of the album combining "A Serpente e o Andarilho" with a bonus track at the end. This slow-moving piece drifts along with the heavy percussion and swirling guitars slowing building and fading as it progresses. The heavy atmosphere breaks out strong with the dynamic, grinding and driving guitar at times before fading back into the background as this piece slowly, steadily moves along like a heavy, metal-driven funeral dirge with just a touch of spoken word as the vocals lasting nearly seven minutes before fading away. The bonus comes in a couple minutes later and is mainly just a bit of guitar, occasional percussion and more spoken word to wind the album down in somber fashion.
There are some definite gems here that gothic rock fans will love. If you enjoy the solid gothic rock sound then your collection would not be complete without this and other Aeon Sable
albums, be sure to pick it up.
Aequinoctium - Review
Giving fans their fix without waiting another year or more, this great EP comes along featuring five new tracks to enjoy.
This short EP is packed with some great music and fans have really been enjoying it, as it and especially the single "Tenfifteen" has received plenty of praise
and club and airplay. Here on the airwaves and pages of Gothic Paradise, this band continues to grow in favor with listeners and readers with each new release
and this is another jewel for all to enjoy.
The dark and melancholy styles pervade this album across piece after piece, from the first grinding introductory title track to the long-running finale "Drawing
Circles Square". The grinding and powerful anthem-like title track builds and sets the mood for the album as we fade into the popular track "Tenfifteen".
Much like previous dance-friendly pieces, this track sports many of the classic gothic rock styles and sounds, very reminiscent of old The Mission UK
yet having a trademark underlying foundation that is well-recognized as Aeon Sable
. The dark alt-rock goth sound moves this piece along well to create
another favorite classic from this band that will no-doubt be heard and enjoyed many years from now. Another favorite on this EP is definitely the more somber,
yet brooding piece "Long Road Out Of Hell" with just a taste of that rock-a-billy sound brought by the soaring guitar and layered acoustics.
One nice thing, and in almost ironic twist on this short EP of five tracks, each piece itself, with the exception of the introductory title track, is actually
quite long with the more accessible and favorite tracks stretching just beyond six minutes, while the other two tracks range from between eigh and over nine
minutes long. These tracks are no less clever or brilliant than the rest of the album, just harder to include on our radio shows, so the reader will need to
search them out to hear. However, these pieces remain true to the band's overall, dark gothic rock style if a little more sub-dued in some ways on "Secret
Flowers", yet slowly building to a driving dynamic climax. "Drawing Circles Square" does much the same thing, slowly moving and slowly building until we're
presented with an onslaught of grinding guitars and deep bass over the heavy percussion, all supporting the angst-ridden vocals and then giving way to a soft,
simple finale with piano and soaring guitars, bringing it all nicely to a close.
Fans and readers familiar with this band will no doubt love this EP. Others that have enjoyed such similar music from the darker, edgier bands in the gothic
rock genres take heed and check out this work, it's definitely worth it.
Saturn Return - Review
This was a highly anticipated album in 2012 after their previously released debut album gained such positive exposure and reviews.
The band continues their dark and brooding alt-rock style with all the various touches previously mentioned, and so this new seven-track album is another excellent addition to our collection.
The album kicks off with the excellent driving, dance-friendly piece "...Algorithm Of None" with the heavy bass as the foundation and focal point as the moving percussion and guitars bring it all together as a backdrop to the melodic vocals. This piece as with many others is fairly long compared to the standard tracks of an album. At 7 1/2 minutes it's not the longest with "Praying Mantis" clocking in at 8 1/2 and "Ritual..." at 9 1/2. So even though the album only has seven tracks, it's still a decent amount of music overall with these longer pieces. Even the shortest are at a minimum nearly five minutes long each. The styles and moods on this album vary greatly across these seven pieces, on some even within a single track. "Praying Mantis" is a good example as for the most part it moves along in a slow, brooding fashion until just past the 5 minute mark the heavy, grinding guitars, percussion and death-metal vocals kick in for a powerful climax. Later in the album "New Breed" fluctuates in much the same way, another very slow, down-tempo piece that builds to a harsh, intense climax about halfway through for a bit before fading back out to the previous somber mood.
For those that enjoy the moving, somewhat dance-friendly side of this music, the aforementioned "...Algorithm Of None" is definitely a favorite. However, the appropriately named "Dancefloor Satellite" has really stood out on this album as a captivating and favorite track. This track also includes a video to go along with it which fans have no doubt seen by now as it was released as something of the "single" from this disc. The music is catchy with the bass laying the foundation, mixed with some somber and subtle guitars and electronics with that driving beat along with the melodic vocals, including some spoken female vox for a nice touch. Later in the album we also have "Dead End" which though not quite on the same level as the previous two mentioned tracks still has a nice moving beat and some excellent guitar and bass work. For fans of the early The Cure
where the bass really took a prominent role, these tracks really stand out in this style as excellent selections. Another favorite that comes a little earlier in the album that's also a little less moving, but equally impressive is "Fabulous Land(Stormed)". This piece almost plays like a ballad with more impressive guitar work that builds throughout the piece with some of the heavier grinding effects and more intense percussion and bass.
In the end we've touched on nearly every piece as each are great additions on their own. As the album wraps up we finally reach "Ritual..." which is a long, dark and brooding track, perfect for finalizing this album. We get a little more keyboards on this piece, but that bass stays strong along with the soaring guitars and somber vocals. Like the previous album, as it wraps up we get something a little more light-hearted as the final couple of minutes to the piece, though still seemingly just an epilogue to the track and overall album. This is a great collection of seven tracks for fans of great gothic-oriented rock music, pick it up and enjoy!
Per Aspera Ad Astra - Review
This gothic rock duo hailing from Germany have been going for a while and have finally released their debut album.
Their style of dark gothic rock shines on this album featuring just seven brooding tracks. With styles varying from classic goth, with touches of rock and metal and modern touches, the album is a nice addition for the gothic rock revival.
"Darkriders" starts off the album with something of a classic goth, mid-tempo ballad with a fantasy theme of draconian riders, something you might expect from a goth metal band but with a definite softer touch. This gives way to a more upbeat piece and a favorite from the album "At The Edge of the World". This has an excellent bassline and moving beat as a foundation for the music and somber vocals with a nice edge to it all. These pieces set the tone and we're treated with a bit more variety including classic opera as an intro to another favorite "Exodus". This piece is solid gothic rock with siren-like soaring guitars layered over grinding guitars and a nice driving beat forming the backdrop to the dark vocals. This is a piece that gothic rock fans can really sink their fangs into with all the favorite styles we've grown to love through the height of the sound in the 90's.
Midway through the album we're presented with something of an interlude in "Monument" with it's slow, somber guitar loops and spoken word through the first half of the track, giving way to a more common song structure of grinding guitars, solid beats and vocals. A "remix" of "Morning Sun" is presented next taking on a long and slower, yet extremely angst-ridden mood with the softly screaming background vocals and various subtle electronics mixed in. There are so many favorites on this album and this one is easily another great selection that radio show listeners should be very familiar with. "Agnosia" seems to wander just a bit in it's nearly five minute duration, but still remains a solid part of the album and sets the stage for the final track "Sever" and a bonus hidden track. As a finale this piece falls a little short, as a way to wrap up the album, it's definitely OK. It very slowly builds and the vocals are not as prominent, though still distinguishable amidst the grinding guitars. The bonus track is an upbeat acoustic piece that's a fun addition I think listeners can enjoy.
Overall it's a great album and nice gem for any collection such as mine that's saturated with great electronic music and rare gothic rock albums are a nice addition that are hard to find.
Label: AF Music