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At the turn of the new millenium a new project was created in the form of Marian's Joy.  This act is the solo work of Gerald Ohl hailing from Frankfurt, Germany.  After two years a demo CD-R was released to labels all over the world and to local DJ's.  DJ Dirk Neveling picked up a track for the Dark Awakening vol. 3 compilation released on COP International in May 2003.  This would be the catalyst sparking interest for the label which would lead to a deal for the release of the debut album Heaven in late 2004.

For those familiar with the Dark Awakening compilations, they are usually a good representation of great new music being released around the same time as the compilation.  So when a track from this band appeared on the electro cd of that compilation, it was a great way to sort of formally kick off the career for this band.  Now their debut album is receiving positive reviews from DJ's and press all over the world.

The somber dark moods of this project are excellent reflecting back to many of the darker new wave and industrial bands of the 80's.  However, the modern electronic elements of this band make it very unique for the genre.  The heavy vocals mixed with catchy, throbbing electronics and steady percussion create an electronic atmosphere that is vibrant, yet moody and melancholy in nature.  It's hard to even draw any comparisons for this group they are so unique yet easily accessible and familiar sounding for the goth/industrial audience.

Gerald continues to work on new material based on the positive feedback from the debut album.  The second album is in the works, so hopefully we'll see more of this great music released soon.


Heaven - Review

When I first heard "Last Kiss In Heaven" from the Dark Awakening compilation I was intrigued by this band's awesome sound.  But when I finally got the album in my hands I was blown away by the entire work. The album contains 10 stellar tracks full of the dark moody ambience moved along by steady and hypnotic beats in the style of older goth/industrial bands.

"The Escape" kicks off the album clocking in at just over six minutes, it's definitely my favorite track on the album with it's hypnotic loops, percussion and addictive style.  Gerald's deep, somber vocals presented on this track in short phrases meshing with the layered guitars and electronics is spellbinding.  It's not a floor-stomping track by any means, but is still really club-friendly with a mid-tempo beat.  "When Darkness Caught Your Soul" carries on with a similar pace, but completely different style.  It's very similar to the cover of the Stranglers' track "Golden Brown" and reminiscent of Die Form in electronic style and also with the female vocals in the background.  Another favorite of mine in the same hypnotic vein as "The Escape" is "Mystification".  With various elements that you might hear from Diary of Dreams such as the electronic loops, heavy percussion and pulsating bass this is another extremely addictive and mesmerizing track.

The album isn't all about these mid-tempo hypnotic selections.  There are a few up-tempo club-friendly tracks included as well that fans of the faster electro/industrial/EBM sounds will enjoy.  "Down in the Dirt", "Nothing To Lose", "Parasite Attack" are all floor-stomping fun with quick beats and intelligent electronics.  Of these faster-paced tracks, the extremely thoughtful piece "Whenever You Want Me To Bleed" is another favorite that's not only fun to dance to, but just plain good to listen to no matter where you're at.

All of this finally brings us to the finale to the album and the track that was probably the introduction to this band for many people.  "Last Kiss In Heaven" is another somber piece that ebbs and flows through moving beats and slower, emotional moments.  The well-rounded variety of this album really shines through in these tracks.  A special treat for fans of The Stranglers is the well-done cover of "Golden Brown" in the unique style of Marian's Joy.

This is an incredible album that any fan of the darker electronic music styles will love.  Fans of The Cure, Diary of Dreams, Clan of Xymox and just about any related electronic band will love this album.

Rating: 5/5


Website: www.marians-joy.com
Label: COP International

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