As I constantly seek out new music and spend hour after hour listening to samples and submissions, it's great to find a new project that catches my attention. This one was submitted by the band rather than through the larger labels or promo outlets and after first listening I was immediately impressed with the overall style. This project is formed by The Rose Phantom (Ted Newsom) and Whitney Willow and hail from Salt Lake City, Utah. Newsom has been involved with musical projects in the past including his instrumental project Revideolized. With vocalist Whitney Willow they came together to form this great new project. The album comes in a standard jewel case with artwork and credits and ten solid tracks introducing us to their stellar sound.
The musical style on this disc combines several facets of the past that have made the gothic and electro-pop genres what they are today. Accented by piano on most songs, each piece features some heavy percussion, mostly mid-tempo rhythms and layered synths and guitars. Most have a sort of gothic rock flavor, while many hearken back to the highlights of the mid-tempo masterpieces by The Cure. The album starts off in stellar fashion with the first three tracks forming the highlights of the album for me. "Demon Skin" is the perfect introduction featuring all of the previously named elements and the excellent mix of deep male vocals under the angelic siren-like female voice. "Sacrifice Season" continues on with this style, really bringing on the heavy, mid-tempo, angst-ridden rhythms and moods for an extremely moody, yet beautifully captivating piece. As we move on the tempo picks up a bit and the intensity subsides with "Feelings of Truth" which puts more emphasis on the melodic male vocals.
With these three introductory tracks gone, the rest of the album is still great and moves along nicely, but just doesn't quite measure up to these in all aspects. About the only negative for me on the album was the track "The Wind", which seems status quo until the end of the track we're overtaken by an onslaught of percussion that is a bit overbearing. With this out of the way though, I have to say that the rest of the disc moves along nicely each piece building and then giving way, slowing flowing along, mostly with somber moods and rhythms to match. We have some great variety on each piece, piano interspersed throughout, guitar here and there, even some flute on "Dead Love" for example. The layered electronics and synths are well mixed, bringing out the vocals which are in and of themselves dynamic, moving from deep and heavy, mixed with high angelic soprano, to a smooth and harmonic mix.
That about sums it up, the entire album is great, thus the high rating. The style is right inline with favorite classic goth and electro-pop, the vocals are great, the included female vocals provide a nice atmosphere and it all comes together so well. Highly recommended for fans of the great, but mellow gothic-influenced bands of the last three decades.