Sunday, July 19, 2015
Diving into the Ghosts of Goth Past with Lebanon Hanover's "Besides the Abyss"
Was going to break this spooky streak, by reviewing the new Cattle Decapitation, but I just don't feel like listening to it this morning, so here we go with this German band. They are very faithful almost to a fault of the classic goth sound and don't totally rip off Siouxsie which gets them points, the problem that plagued the new She Past Away is some what present here in the fact that using programmed drum causes things to drone on one riff for the whole song and not allowing for progressions out side of this. True in 1982 this is what this sort of thing sounded like, but why not take those sounds and marry them to today's technology and give your self a bigger sonic world to write in. You can still keep it in the bat cave without allowing it to drag on.
The vocals to "Fall Industrial Wall" are smooth enough in their melody to make the song coast along with out making me look at the clock. They do experiment some with their sounds the beginning moments of "the Chamber" could have just as well come from a Chelsea Wolfe album until the Joy Division bass line comes in. The guitar that is mixed way behind the both the bass and the vocals seems like it might have something interesting going on to make it stand further apart from the previous song, but we will never know. It takes " the Moor" to break things up a little , the sax in the song gives a more 80 touch than the boring drums that drag this album into drab. This sounds like it should have been on the "Lost Boys" soundtrack and is the direction this sort of thing should go in . The vocal are a little higher and not the register she is most comfortable in , but she proves she can switch it up and making this perhaps the album's best song.
The Acoustic guitar on "Broken Characters" might started in just like "Space Oddity" but this is yet another change for the better that begins to pull them out of their rut.The bass player plod in the tense post-punk manner behind it showing that diversity is not their stock and trade, when a more melodic bass line might have benefited this song more. "Chimerical" would not be a word I would use to describe this band, it is the title of the song that follows returning them back to a more traditionally dark wave sound. The vocals pretty much carry this melodrama.It's not surprising that "Dark Hill" continues to darker things up. There are some interesting synth wounds that swell up. Male vocals which sound like Bellicose Minds, take over on this song, and you have to hand it to them that this is switching things up even if he is not as good of a singer as she. They end things on a mediocre not with the boring closer "Spiral" that takes all the goth cliches and does little with them.
Overall I think y thoughts are easily known with this one so it stand that I'll round it down to a 7.5, they are capable of creating some nice dark sounds and know their goth, I just think that they should add more to the mix and get a real drummer or at least cut and paste in more varied drum patterns.