This band hails from the UK and have been going strong for several years now. They officially got their start as Dyonisis in 2005 when they brought everything together from their first struggles under the name Dawn. They went through some lineup changes but finally settled with the four members of Nel, Tom, Marcus and Lou and in 2007 released their debut self-titled album.
We introduced our readers and listeners to their debut album a few months before the writing of this article and we were captivated. Their musical style is an excellent mix of dreampop, ethereal, shoegaze and rock with a touch of emotional gothic elements that many fans of these related genres should really enjoy. Their debut album leaned a little more on the ethereal side of things, but in 2010 we were introduced to their edgy album Intoxicated that takes the intensity up a notch while still not losing that hypnotic, siren-like quality of luring the listener in and then devouring them through a figurative grinding melee of guitars and heavy beats.
With these two albums as a backdrop and a start for this band, I believe they're off to a promising career if they're able to stay focused and stick with it. They've been playing live recently and should have other live dates for the local crowds and hopefully be able to make it to other festivals and countries throughout the world. We'll be watching this band with great interest in the coming years.
Intoxicated - Review
After this band's impressive debut, I was extremely anxious and excited to hear what they would come up with next. I have to say that it was more than I originally hoped for from this band. They built on their solid ethereal shoegaze sound and have added something of an edge to several tracks. It comes packaged nicely in a standard jewel case with all the lyrics for the songs and the disc comes packed with eleven memorable pieces.
"We Are..." starts off the album as a short introductory piece that slowly builds to a grinding climax and gives way to "Of The Fear" which is a selection that has quickly become a favorite from this album. Right from the start we get to experience the edgy guitars and solid percussion which become a backdrop to the excellent harmonized vocals. Nel's vocals take the lead soaring through the air, dripping with emotion as the somewhat operatic, lower alto vocals of Lou add a nice touch to each song. Keeping up the pace on this album are several tracks including "Eve's Song" which slowly builds over a dark, brooding bassline as the vocals move along we're presented with an onslaught of grinding guitars as everything comes to a climax that is more typical of shoegaze style. "Smart Mouth" is similar but has a sassy tone to it with the vocal style and upbeat rhythms and intensity.
While most of the pieces gradually build and come to a climax like these tracks, "Flown" is the last of the harder driving pieces, leaving the rest of the album more for the ethereal fans though we still have a few mid-tempo and somewhat intense pieces. "Inside Out" is the first of these with it's dreamy, subtle electronics and as the intensity builds, it's more on an emotional level than anything else providing an excellent canvas for the artistic vocals. "Arachne's Song" follows up and has become another favorite from this disc with it's thought-provoking vocals and excellent vocal and musical style as the catch phrase "I am made of threads" repeats throughout the latter part of the track. As the album moves along and we're presented with one catchy piece after another, it's hard to just extract and talk about one piece or another as it all comes together so well. As it comes to an end we're left with several dreamy pieces, but the finale "Lunatic" brings the album to a close in much the same way we started creating a perfect ending to an excellent album.
Dyonisis - Review
This is the band's self-titled debut album which introduces us to their excellent mix of ethereal shoegaze rock. It's a nice work featuring nine excellent pieces in this mix of gothic-related genres. It comes packaged in a standard jewel-case with a simple inlay, though there are plenty of extras on the band's website that's worth visiting.
As a debut album you never know what to expect from a band unless you go scour reviews or listen to samples. I was able to catch a few samples and I really enjoyed the soft female vocals floating over a somber mix of shoegaze music. There's a nice mix of guitars, percussion and keyboards across many of the tracks, some are upbeat with solid percussion moving the rhythm along, while others are soft and somber, taking the listener into an enchanted dreamworld.
A few favorites on this disc span the wide diversity of moods and styles from the opening piece "Hunter" with it's driving rhythm and guitars to the beautiful ballad "Remember Me" with it's mesmerizing heavenly vocals layered over the softer percussion and guitars. "Reaching" is an excellent piece that follows along the standard ethereal shoegaze style starting soft and sweet and slowly building to a climax of various soaring guitars and driving beats. The grinding guitars on most tracks keep the music firmly grounded in the goth/shoegaze arena while the soft and sweet vocals take the edge off, adding a sweet harmony that's really captivating. They wrap it all up with a beautiful, yet edgy piece called "Rainy Day" which creates a perfect finale to the album. The harmonized vocals provide just another layer of ethereal goodness over the layered guitars, bass and percussion on this extended piece that lasts over ten minutes, even with that it all leaves the listener longing for more which we hope to get with future works. This comes highly recommended for fans of the edgier, yet dreamy ethereal shoegaze genres.