|Waiting in Vain|
This band got their start back in 2003 when Tim Köhler and Sebastian Robitzch joined forces to create music based on their varied musical inspirations from the various German rock, punk and gothic rock styles. They started as mostly all electronic music but as with most bands, over the years they started to evolve a bit and develop and mature their sound. They were joined by guitarist Johannes Heinelt in 2006 which helped to create a more robust sound. With their short list of EPs and albums, they've managed to establish a great combination of goth and electro-pop styles with layers of electroniics and melodic vocals all accented and driven by grinding guitars and moving beats.
The band members are spread around Europe located in Ireland and Germany, yet they still managed to put forth the time and effort to pull together some great music. They worked together and released a string of cult releases from 2004 through 2009 culminating in their album ['leila]. Two years later the band regrouped for the spellbinding, powerful release of the Awake Again EP. This EP is captivating and caught our attention here and so hopefully this band will start to get a little more recognition throughout the globe.
Awake Again EP - Review
I was just introduced to this band with this single and I was immediately captivated. I've been able to pick up ['leila] for review and airplay here and these have quickly become new favorites and classics in my collection. This disc and single came as a nice surprise, including the stellar title piece and a variety of very good remixes along with a nice b-side track "You"
The title track presents all the great elements of moody electro-goth that we've grown to enjoy over the years from bands like Clan of Xymox, Unavox and to some extent the electro-pop groups of Colony 5 and the darker styles of Apoptygma Berzerk. The music is woven over a tapestry of driving dance-friendly beats, pulsating layers of various electronic loops and providing some excellent depth and a definite edge is the grinding guitar. This becomes the canvas for the harmonic vocals that present the lyrics that gives meaning to it all. The various remixes are nice, presenting a little different style across each one, a little something for every taste within all the various related sub-genres. "The Dark Unspoken Remix" definitely stands out for me as a favorite, presenting new layers and a heavier electronic foundation with all the great elements of heavy, edgy electro-pop styles. "StaticViolence Remix" is more of a driving trance-laiden EBM style while the "Trensity Remix" takes a somewhat opposite turn, focusing heavily on the guitar work and in some spots really having a hard, driving guitar rock style.
The b-side "You" is a heavily emotional piece with many of the same musical elements, bringing out the intensity in other ways, using more of a mid-tempo beat the guitars come out a bit more, soaring and grinding for a nice goth sound. I love tracks where the emotion drips from the speakers, feelings so thick you can feel them enclose around you in an enveloping embrace, urging you to surrender and expose your own thoughts and feelings as we all relate with the lyrics as we listen and understand. These are the pieces that are memorable, that we can turn to someone under varying circumstances and express how we feel by reciting lyrics from a song. That's what we have here with these tracks from this EP, definitely an excellent item to add to any collection.
['leila] - Review
After being inroduced to the excellent new single Awake Again in the summer of 2011, I was immediately captivated and knew I had to pick up more from this artist, so I managed to get my hands on this, their 2009 album. This album is packed with great music, spanning a dozen tracks of their electro-goth goodness that fans of various german electro-pop and electro-goth bands with similar styles will enjoy.
After the introductory track "Prolusio", this album is packed from start to finish with emotionally charged music, each piece featuring layer upon layer of electronic loops, symphonic structures, driving beats and grinding guitar for solid electro-goth soundscapes. The dance-friendly beats and catchy hooks would keep anyone moving on the dance floor and hearts pounding no matter where they might be listening. The lyrics explore various themes that are common from love, loss, hope and everything in between as the vocals carry with them the emotional elements to give the lyrics added meaning, accented by the driving rhythms and pulsating music.
With a dozen of these tracks, there is plenty to choose from for favorites and catchy pieces. For me it starts right up after the introduction with "Everything Awaits" as the spoken word samples continue from the introduction adding even more passion and feeling to the track. The grinding guitar provides much of the foundation to the piece, providing barbed thorns to the emotional layers of electronics and the accented vocals. "Virgin Land" is the next that stands out, after a building introduction with fingered broken guitar chords, everything jumps in for a driving, dance-friendly piece. It all comes together as an excellent melodic synthpop track with all the electronic loops and pulsating synths driving everything along. Like sugar on strawberries, the sweetness of this track is enhanced with beautiful backing female vocals that hold the listener entranced like the siren's song. Immediately following this spell-binding piece, we're led right into another emotionally driven selection with "One day - you left". The lyrics of love, fear and loss are accented by more spoken word samples like the introduction "You think you deserve that pain, but you don't". The angst in the vocals carry the lyrics and emotion straight to the listener's soul on haunting, driving tapestries of woven electronic threads of sound. The appropriately named "The anguish" follows suit in much the same way as a combination of the two previously mentioned tracks with samples and backing female vocals, while the music builds and keeps it's intensity all along.
While the other tracks not mentioned are great, they are fairly homogenous, so these are the ones that stand out with the catchiest hooks and features. The album remains intense and moving throughout the duration with one club-friendly piece after another. This is definitely a must-have for any fan of the german electro-pop bands with an edge.
Label: AF Music