Tuesday, September 23, 2014
Vajra : Blind/Inside the Flame
What is goth? This has been argued over forums for years. I have sat across from signed touring goth bands who argued among themselves this question.Anything from Type o Negative to Cocteau Twins to Death in June have earned the title, neither sound anything a like. Vajra fall more on the rock side of the equation. Less down cast and doomy than Type o more on the metal side, but not in the overtly romantic metal mode of Nightwish. Vast's harder moments or even Switchblade Symphony's come to mind along with a health or unhealthy dose of 90's metal depending on what your view of that decade is like.
Sometimes I contemplate if Tool released another album after this seven year wait will anyone care. This band also wonders this as they enlisted Tool producer Sylvia Massey to mix this. It reminds me more of Concrete Blonde if they enlisted Tool's producer, and were trying to recreate the feel of Los Angeles rather than New Orleans. I can also hear some SwitchBlade Symphony in this. The tribal elements could stand to go further in the Dead Can Dance than the Parabola direction, so while it's cool Tool's producer is getting work I think this might have benefited from a more organic sound in places , as it sounds like you would expect something along these lines to sound like if Massey had mixed it.
There is potential here as their chops are undeniable, I think putting her on a steady diet of bands like Soap&Skin and Esben & the Witch, would sway their favor into heading into a darker direction. Former Mars Volta drummer Blake Flemming plays on this and the pedigree of the musicianship is at least able to hang with him on this.Not that this heavy prog feel, isn't an enjoyable listen, it just makes me feel like I am partying in 1999. Their song writing and goth tendencies, keep me engaged, I liked "Inside the Flame" better than Blind, as it doesn't have as big of a rock sound. Something more re verb drenched hollow and colder would benefit not only her voice. She has power and range, over all her voice is impressive and unique. I look forward to hearing what this gal does in the future as she matures and hopefully abandones some of the rock star production for a darker tone,