This band got their start in the winter of 2007 with the duo of Stefan Eriksson and Mickel Lo¨nngren. This duo hails from Sweden and both have a long history in the music scene. Stefan is recognized for his work with other Gothic Paradise favorites Arcana among other projects. He brings to the band his multi-instrument talents, technical and production talents. Mickel was a key member of the Diesel music label in Sweden. He contributes his solid, deep vocals and production knowledge.
This band brings together all the great elements of the solid gothic rock we fell in love with during the 80's and 90's when the scene was at it's peak with bands like Sisters of Mercy, Nosferatu, The Mission UK and others. They also gleen inspiration from legendary electronic artists Depeche Mode and post-punk greats Joy Division. This duo creates a solid, energetic combination of guitar-driven gothic rock with deep bass, melancholic vocals and other elements all accented by various subtle synths and a solid beat. It's a great pleasure to bring this band to the airwaves and readers of Gothic Paradise.
The Other Side of Fear - Review
Continuing to create their own brand of solid gothic rock, we are presented with another short EP of great music. Spanning just four tracks, what this EP lacks in length it makes up for with a solid gothic rock sound. These selections are a great addition to the short discography from this excellent duo.
We're presented first with "Another Day" which starts off with a mix of pulsating electronics before being joined by the heavy bass which has always been a favorite foundational instrument in the goth genre. The heavy rock beats move the track along nicely as Mickel's solid vocals take the lead over the various layered synths and guitars. This track quickly became a favorite for our listeners and was part of our top 10 for many weeks and still remains a common staple on the radio and a personal favorite. The mood shifts a bit with "Anymore" as a somber mid-tempo piece. Taking on a dark and brooding tone with a nice acoustic guitar loop backing an equally catchy electric guitar riff over the somber bass, this piece still manages to hold the listener entranced throughout. The dynamic intensity picks up over the chorus creating a solid gothic rock piece very reminiscent of the classic 90's tracks at the height of an era of great music in this genre. "Black Lies" continues to build on this foundation and picks up the rhythm a bit while the somber, yet angst-ridden vocals bring out the dark and moody elements of this piece. This brings us to the final piece which really pours on the dark and dreary elements with the heavy vocals and equally dark and moody guitars and slow, but heavy beat.
Overall a really nice collection of tracks on this short EP. The dark and heavy gothic rock style is thick on these pieces and each stand on their own for fans of this genre.
The Dark EP - Review
This band continues to create and produce great music and so it's with great pleasure that we're presented with this short EP. The band has pulled together four excellent tracks in a dark and brooding gothic rock style that makes the title of this EP fit perfectly.
Across the four tracks we get a good taste of this band's talents and the dynamic structure they create in their music. "Blood Runs Cold" kicks it off with a steady, heavy, mid-tempo beat accented and accompanied by an excellent mix of mourning guitars, bass and layers of subtle electronics as a back-drop to the solid vocals which build and grow throughout the track. The soaring guitar work comes out strong on "A Heartbeat Away" with fast-paced percussion with the snare leading the way over the dark and heavy bass, giving it a dark, post-punk sound. Taking a turn in tempo and moving into even darker moods are the final two tracks with "Things I Do At Night" setting the tone to match the title. The intensity of the music remains as the guitar riffs are strummed out over the heavy bass and percussion still creating a dynamic and moving atmosphere. "Dead Inside" wraps it up in dark, gothic style. The heavy bass becomes the key player on this piece which has been a favorite element of gothic, darkwave and post-punk music through all of these years. As it moves along, creating a brooding atmosphere, the deep, dark vocals sing out the simple lyrics laced with despair.
With these four tracks we have another masterpiece from this group, with the biggest problem just being that it's so short. However, the upside is that we have this great material probably sooner than waiting for the next LP. The tracks are enjoyable and the emotionally charged soundscapes are great for the fans of the dark, gothic selections that have become classic favorites over the years. They bring it all together with the various guitars, from the heavy bass to the soaring anthemlike structures, the inclusion of haunting piano and subtle electronics provide a an added deeper layer to the music, all the while with the brooding vocals providing the final touch. Fans of the classic gothic rock groups should take note as this is sure to please.
Turn the Gold to Chrome - Review
It's great to stumble upon another great talent in the gothic rock revival, brought to us by our friends at AF Music. This album brings out all of the great styles and elements of the past into a solid foundation for the present and the future of gothic rock. On this, their debut album, we're presented with nine solid tracks that have become new classics here.
The album kicks off with piercing guitar on "End of Time", an instant new classic, digging up the best elements of the past and throwing them all together on this and each selection on this album. The hard, hammering beats thunder along with the heavy rock style as piano and electronics permeate the backdrop beneath the soaring guitar as it all gives way to the dark and brooding vocals. As a gothic rock fan I get chills listening to how well it all comes together on this album throughout each track. Favorites span nearly every piece, but a few that are new classics include the aforementioned piece, along with the following song "Abigail". This song conjures up images of a sassy goth girl with lyrics like "sha-na-na-na that's what she said... as she walked away". In fact, what is it with all the girls our great gothic rock bands sing about? I think we could write an entire article on the girls of gothic rock, but we'll leave it for now and get back to the material on this album.
As the album moves along, the solid, heavy percussion marks each piece along with the driving guitar and angst-ridden vocals. "Lost" accents the album with the inclusion of some excellent acoustic guitar over the solid, heavy beats for another stellar piece. A little further into the album, another piece stands out in "Sleepwalking". Starting off slow, it's a somewhat somber and pensive track as these moods permeate the soundwaves as it slowly moves along, slowly building and growing to a nice crescendo and climax as the track moves along nicely for another masterpiece. After a couple of driving and dynamic pieces, the albums starts to draw to a close with the excellent finale "Question and Answer". This final piece moves along somewhat peacefully, still keeping the heavy beat as the solid foundation with subtle ambient soundscapes in the background as the deep vocals tell the tale of the lyrics. The piece gradually builds with layers of guitar, heavy bass and more dynamic percussion, slowly drawing everything to a close.
There you have it, this is a veritable cornucopia for gothic rock fans, something we've almost been starved of over the years. While we enjoy many styles of the dark-electro, industrial and related electronic music, it's always great to get back to the foundation of the solid gothic rock like this album brings to light. Fans, don't miss this album, you'll love it!
Label: AF Music