Hailing from New York City, this group consists of the trio Kit Messick (vocals), Joanna Dalin (violin) and James Babbo (guitar, songwriting). This project was originally formed by Babbo to include an ethereal track on Middle Pillar Presents
compilation What is Eternal
. The first full-length album was released in 2000 as Frames of Teknicolor
, which received positive reviews by many critics and fans. They later released the Divinity EP
which again received many positive reviews including here on Gothic Paradise, and since have been a favorite here including many hours of radio play on the Ethereal radio show. 2004 has seen the release of the next great full-length album This Infinite Eye
which continues to show the maturity and further expansion of their wonderful sound.
Fans of the "Heavenly Voices" and Ethereal music will absolutely love this group. They combine the heavenly female vocals and lush violin for a dreamy quality that is completely mesmerizing and gripping. Then they can turn it around and throw in deep male vocals for a smooth and moody element that is matched by few bands. For those not familiar with this stellar sound, now is a good time to hear what you've been missing. Fans of Black Tape for a Blue Girl
will feel right at home listening to this group with many similar styles being present in their music.
While their music and the core of the group can be attributed to the trio named above, the experience of these three as well as a number of guest musicians have also contributed immensely. The number of these projects and guests are too many to name here, so check out their official website for more information, photos, soundclips and other news. And of course, you can hear selections on the Gothic Paradise Ethereal radio show here, so be sure to listen.
This Infinite Eye - Review
After the well-received debut album and the excellent Divinity EP
, I can only say that I've been anxiously awaiting this latest release from this excellent ethereal group.
If the reader has had the privilege of hearing any of these previous releases, then you'll know the excellent music this group can create and release. Kit's beautiful vocals drift on ethereal waves of beauty and majesty over a backdrop of smooth violin and dreamy guitar while un-intrusive percussion moves several tracks along. But this is only scratching the surface of the splendor of the eleven tracks included on this album.
This album has a plethora of these majestic tracks with a variety of rhythms, structures and even the inclusion of guest male vocals on "Moon's On Fire" by Mark Steiner. All of these things provide a nice variety for the listener creating an atmosphere that makes it easy to listen to the entire album from start to finish without skipping a track or even a beat. But it's all sandwiched in between two absolutely perfect tracks. "Cold Heart" starts it all of with a swaying rhythm and Kit's dreamy vocals. The elements of violin, guitar, percussion and the vocals all combine for something absolutely stunning and extraordinary. And the finale to this album, really providing the icing on the cake is a track that many will be familiar with from the Eclectica Volume 2
compilation with the inclusion of "Finale". Kit's vocals absolutely soar on this track leaving me breathless with the music providing the perfect canvas for the artistic masterpiece that is created by this combination.
With that said, the rest of the album is packed with the "meat" of the sandwich, tasty treats of dreamy atmospheric pieces like "Blue Fire" or the previously mentioned male-fronted track "Moon's on Fire". The guitars, violin and slight percussion slowly move these and other similar tracks along slowly as the listener is sucked into a dream-world, laced with roses, full of beauty but the occasional thorn that keeps it all interesting and full of that slight Gothic edge that so many of us have grown to love in this genre. While remaining interesting and many having those captivating elements described above, it would be nice if all could move along with such perfect compositions as the first and last track on this album, but all are nearly as great and so very enjoyable.
I could probably go on for several more paragraphs as I try to explain and rate each track, but suffice it to say that in it's entirety, this album brings production, talents and artistry together nearly to perfection. It hasn't been often lately that we're met with such a gem amongst so much hate and distress in the world today. The music, while still slightly dark, moody and full of emotion, the slight hope and shear majesty and beauty of the tracks provide a light and life that drives the listener on to strive for something great and hopeful in this world. Something we can all use more of and that I can truly appreciate and highly recommend.
Label: Middle Pillar Presents