Hailing from Stockholm, Sweden, this band is composed of the trio Fernando Honorato on vocals, keyboards and bass; Alexander Lehto on guitars and Joakim Janthe on drums. They formed this band several years back and managed to put together a 4-track EP in 2007 which was received by DJs around Europe with positive feedback. They soon became known for their good live shows and played Wave Gotik Treffen in Leipzig in 2009. Since then they've gradually been gathering more and more of a following and they put their efforts into releasing a full-length album. Early 2011 would see them self-release their self-titled debut, but later in the year afmusic with Danse Macabre Records would pick it up for better worldwide distribution After releasing a pair of singles in 2013, they released their follow-up sophomore album in 2014 to high acclaim.
The band's musical style borrows from the past and looks to the future with creative optimism. If you take Joy Division, early The Cure, Slowdive and mira and mix them all together keeping the heavy male vocal lead, heavy bass and soaring shoegaze guitars, you have Principe Valiente. I was first introduced to the band with their track "The Night" and was immediately hooked and then I heard "In My Arms" and I knew this was a band that would be a new favorite. We were able to pick up their debut album and it has been getting heavy rotation on our club mix radio show and has been a favorite on my stereo as well. Their small discography is great so far and we look forward to all that they can offer in years to come.
Choirs of Blessed Youth - Review
After a long wait and several teaser singles we've finally been presented with this excellent follow-up album. Continuing to build on their foundation of post-punk this album is packed with several great gems. Spanning eleven stellar tracks, including the previously release singles, we have a great hour of music.
While the album starts off somewhat laid back with "The Son I'll Never Be", it isn't long until we're right into the thick of things with the upbeat, driving piece "Take Me With You". This marks the first of a the previously released singles from this album that has become a real favorite on the airwaves of Gothic Paradise. The mix of driving beats and intensely emotional vocals over the onslaught of soaring guitars that will make shoegaze fans swoon really creates a stellar track. These post-punk and shoegaze elements make this album really shine and are present on several tracks throughout the album. This gives way immediately to the second previously released track "She Never Returned", which has also become a quick favorite. Sporting all of the favorite elements from this band this piece comes on strong and solid with the siren-like guitars shimmering and soaring over the angst-ridden vocals and heavy percussion, grounded by a solid bassline. Several more tracks onthe album carray this strong combination with favorites including "The Fighting" and later toward the end of the album "Dying To Feel Alive". Each of these tracks are spellbinding in their composition and keep the listener interested and entertained.
Of course it's not all about moving beats and soaring guitars, there are definitely some dynamics to this album. A real gem on the album is the nearly ten-minute track "The Dream". This brooding piece slowly moves along with ethereal grace through the first half before starting to pick up in intensity with the guitars and drums. While the tempo remains constant the music really builds to a dynamic crescendo that is captivating. Just beyond the halfway mark of the album we're also presented with the short 2-minute ambient interlude that is the title track for the album. Even this short piece provides a nice little break from the intensely emotional tracks that compose this album. After another intense piece in "Temporary Men", the album comes to a close with another truly dynamic track in "Flower In You". Starting off slow with ambient and ethereal textures, it slowly builds about halfway into a powerful climax before fading off again into the proverbial twilight of the end of this album.
There you have it, their second album and another real gem to be enjoyed for years to come. Fans of shoegaze, post-punk and some elements of emotionally-driven ethereal goth music will love this album with a taste of all of the above.
Principe Valiente - Review
This debut album has proven to be something of a real gem in my music collection. It's great to discover someone new who seems to have captured the vision in great music. This album comes packed with great music spanning eleven tracks awash with driving, post-punk meets shoegazing goodness.
The album kicks off with "Intro" a short, beautiful piano piece that softly and sweetly moves along, gradually building to a climax with introductory percussion that sets the stage for the onslaught of layer after layer of driving music on "Before You Knew Me". While the rest of the album is not as driving in structure as this piece, the emotions and song formations really do keep each selection quite intense. The vocals vary and for the most part follow well along post-punk genre lines, somewhat monotone and deep, though often building with the crescendo of the music. Also remaining right in-line with the shoegazer genre, most of the songs have a typical structure of being fairly subdued during each verse and then the layers, reverb, added instruments and intensity all kick in on the chorus for added dynamics.
As the album moves along, as with most, there are definite favorites. For me it's definitely the first two tracks I was introduced to, "In My Arms" and "The Night". I think overall it's the pure, raw emotion reflected through the building chorus and the dynamic climax that we reach. "In My Arms" appears first and from the start the guitars are fairly intense and play a definite key role in the track, but everything from the heavy, pounding beat, background guitars and keyboards, to the deep, driving bass all buoying up the intense vocals for a piece that is just dripping and thick with emotion. Each time I listen to this piece I get chills up and down my body as the adrenaline starts pumping and I can't help but start dancing in some way or another no matter where I'm at. "The Night" comes near the end of the album and starts off with a heavy bass that is so reminiscent of The Cure at the height of their career (think "Just Like Heaven"). This piece isn't nearly as intense with the raw emotion as some of the other pieces, but as previously mentioned, like The Cure, the mix of guitars, especially with the dominant heavy bass moving along with the dynamics of the layered guitars, electronics and moving beat, it all comes together perfectly for a stellar piece. Much of the rest of the album follow these same structures and are still really great and make the entire disc very enjoyable from start to finish. Just over halfway through we get a nice little interlude of 90 seconds or so with a short little instrumental piece. And towards the end of the album it all slows down with the finale to the album "Dance Like There's No Tomorrow", appropriately titled for this excellent album and a great ending.
This band is an excellent new discovery and this album is a real gem that will be a favorite in my collection for a long time to come, sitting alongside some of the greats from Joy Division, Revolver Modele, The Cure and others.
Label: afmusic with Danse Macabre Records