M Λ L V S - Review
After not much of a break, this band is back with yet another album, this being their ninth to date.
As with previous albums, we have a great collection of gothic rock from these talented artists with thirteen powerful pieces overall.
On this album we see the band get back to their roots in solid gothic rock fashion. We are presented with excellent moving tracks with a mix of driving percussion, a mix of keyboards and guitars with a solid bassline all providing a backdrop to the pensive lyrics and deep vocals. Across the thirteent tracks presented we are graced with a number of new favorites and stand out pieces though the entire album is a great listen with many potentially becoming new staples in the seemingly ever shrinking gothic rock scene. The first of these is in the introductory piece "Cedars of Salt" which showcases all of the great elements we enjoy in this genre from the layers of guitars to the solid bass and moving percussion. Fans of good solid gothic rock will love this as well as solid staples "Halving Moons", "Drown", "Shadowplay" and "Sermon in the Vale". Of course others really nail it as well, but these seem to permeate the wall of homogenous sound we sometimes get trapped in with a long album from a single artist.
I think the years have been kind to this band and with this album we see how their mature talents and creativity come alive through each of these pieces. "Drown" is a definite favorite and one that has graced our Top 10 radio show for several weeks. Of the entire album, this one drips with thick emotion and a dark and brooding atmosphere with cello over a somber beat to start off and then building to a powerful mix of equally somber, yet alluring guitars. The crooning deep vocals provide the final touch to this haunting piece.
Overall this is a great addition to the pages and airwaves here on Gothic Paradise as solid gothic rock seems to be something of a rare commodity lately. Gone are the height of the scene in the 90's, though these rare gems still thankfully pop up and so we present them here as a rare treasure, a gem amongst the stones of the flooded otherwise mediocre work presented.
The Langsyne Litanies - Review
After the band's 2012 album and playing a number of shows including a small acoustic tour in 2014, they present us with their eighth album with this mostly acoustic album.
On this great new work the band chose five of their favorite previously released songs and have reworked them to be mostly acoustic and with somewhat more somber moods. In addition to these reworked tracks we're also presented with three new previously unreleased selections in the same style.
The album kicks off with one of their favorites from their previous album in the form of "Devil". They manage to keep the tempo moving yet somber on this track with acoustic piano, guitar and subdued percussion for a nice arrangement of this otherwise driving gothic rock track. "Blind-Eyed Boy" is the next piece to be reworked down into a somber acoustic piece. The original was a driving mix of soaring electric guitar and layered synths over moving, heavy beats compared to this rework which is a mix of strummed acoustic guitar, cello and the heavy vocals along with various acoustic percussion. Another completely changed up piece is "Ferryman" which is reworked down to it's acoustic alter-ego while still maintaining a fairly moving rhythm. "Digging Towers" turns out perfectly with it's new incarnation. While it was a fairly laid back piece to begin with, in it's new form the mix of piano, harmonica, guitar and percussion create a great back-drop for the emotionally charged lyrics and vocals. "White Days" is another that doesn't deviate a ton from the original, mainly substituing strumming acoustic guitar for the soaring electric and cello for the heavy bass. Overall it all fits perfectly together with the others and is a great addition.
The three new pieces are mixed in with the others and any listener not entirely familiar with the other original versions wouldn't know the difference. Each of these comes together perfectly and are great acoustic tracks in and of themselves as well as creating a nice mix for the overall album. "Rosary" is the first of these and also up being one of the heaviest and most intense pieces on the album while still maintaining all of the acoustic elements. That solid Golden Apes
sound is very apparent on this selection with the deep vocals and layered acoustic music thick with emotional intensity. The final new piece is "The Infinity Called Man..." and is also the finale to the album. This is an instrumental selection and provides something of an epilogue to the album to bring it all to a close with it's haunting and almost bombastic nature. This is a great close to another nice album for this band and while we look forward to more of their driving gothic rock, this is definitely an excellent diversion and perfect fit to our collection.
Riot - Review
This is the band's 7th album and so they continue to add to their large discography and long history with another stellar gothic rock album.
The band has put forth a great effort to fill up this album with a dozen tracks that fans of the classic gothic rock sound will enjoy.
After a short 90-second "Prelude" track, the rock sound kicks in with "Devil" and sets the tone for the dynamic and solid sound this band has spent creating over the years. The album is packed with stand-out pieces that keep the listener moving and entranced throughout the entire album. We've picked up a number of favorites that we've been featuring on our radio shows since the release of the album. These excellent pieces shine with their mix of a solid beat, the deep vocals resonating with the thought-provoking lyrics all over a back-drop of a nice mix of subtle synths and various guitars. The trio of "Torment", "Vengeance" and "Heart's Corrosion" pick up early on in the album as an example of a diverse set of styles and elements that really make this album great. "Torment" is solid and heavy-hitting with the grinding guitars right off with the electronics providing a nice accent to the music while the heavy bass throbs along with the driving beat all providing a nice aural canvas for the deep, brooding, vocals. "Vengeance" starts off with strumming acoustic guitar and the familiar vocals and then quickly picks up with a moving beat and mix of other guitars, bass and electronics to create a memorable and catchy sound. "Heart's Corrosion" also starts off slow and somber with piano and a nice guitar melody, slowly picking up as the vocals and then bass and drums all pick up the intensity for a dynamically driving selection. Other tracks provide a nice addition to the dynamic nature of the album such as "White Days" with it's strumming guitars and somewhat lilting rhythm for a somber piece, however the climax of the album comes with the second-to-last track "The Happy Losers Sweet Delusions". Besides a clever title, this piece boasts some of the most driving guitar on the album along with a huge diversity as each verse comes out very minimal and then the chorus ramps up to a driving, soaring chorus of guitars, electronics and percussion backing the vocals. These elements all create such a perfect track before closing with the title piece that stretches on for nearly nine minutes to bring the album to a close with bombastic and intense soaring, grinding guitars and driving percussion.
So there we have the highlights for this great album. Again, it's great to hear the solid classic gothic rock sound mixed with a bit of post-punk, shoegaze and subtle electronics to bring out the dynamic nature of the music. This is a great album to add to your collection, enjoy!
Denying The Towers Our Words Are Falling From... - Review
While we're just becoming acquainted with this band for the first time in 2012 with the start of the re-release of their back catalog on AF Music
, they've actually been around since 1998 and have released six full-length album and are working on their 7th for release this fall (2012).
This album is their latest album from their back catalog, released in 2010 it includes a dozen excellent, thought-provoking pieces which bring out many elements from the gothic rock and post punk scene.
It's incredible that we've missed this great selection of music for so many years, but it's great to have this album now playing. From the start to finish we're graced with deep vocals over a backdrop of layers of various electronics from ambient soundscapes to soaring synths and electronic loops all creating a subtle soundscape for the more prominent solid rock percussion and grinding guitars and heavy bass. "Windlands" kick it all off with a fairly melancholy style that helps to create the moods for the album as we move along from one piece to another. Moods and intensity vary along the way as we're presented with various takes on the gothic and post punk styles. "And Thus He Spoke" stands out as an excellent classic from this album as the vocals come out clear and strong while the music remains somewhat somber, yet moving and emotional. The most moving piece is "The Mark Of Cain / And From This Heart It Will Rise..." which kicks off with driving beats and layered guitars that give way to a moving rimshot allowing the vocals to stand out strong and on their own on each verse and then giving way to soaring, grinding, distorted guitars that could please even fans of shoegazer music while remaining mostly true to the gothic styles.
At this point we've reached something of a climax though there are still many tracks to be enjoyed through the rest of the album. Moods vary again across each piece from the fast, driving intensity to the softer, more somber styles including acoustic guitar and subtle beats. As the album comes close to wrapping up, we're graced with a few intense pieces like "The Silence [That I Call Speech]" which ends with a clashing onslaught of percussion and guitars. This brings us to the final piece which also puts a lot of emphasis on the crashing cymbals for an accent on the percussion as the guitars grind out each final note to drive home the melancholy lyrics and vocals as if it were all to come crashing down and finally comes to a close.
So this is just a taste of what the band has to offer. We look forward to possibly more of their back catalog and also to the releases to come in the future.
Label: AF Music