Thursday, April 20, 2017
Clan of Xymox : "Days of Black"
Of all the old school dark wave acts Clan of Xymox continues to prove they still have it. The title track that opens the album is just a intro. When they actually kick into things they do so with a smart bass line and s a pop skip to "Loneliness" that doesn't sound all dark at first. The vocal melody is well thought out and adds just enough darkness to the rest of the song. The synths sound like they could have come from "Disintegration". "Vixen in Disguise" works but is not their best work and would get filed under alright filler. There is more drive to "Leave Me Be" which melts into more of a introspective slink. At 55 Ronny's voice sounds great. In the lower register it still holds rich resonance and slides up into his more emotive whine. He is really what brings life to these songs , though "Leave Me Be" is dark enough to satisfy my goth cravings. "Rain Will Wash Away" is more electronic based, to the point that it feels more like an interlude.
They go into more a traditional dark wave for "Set You Free". Not dialed in, but nothing new. There is a very emotional and Cure like vibe to "I Couldn't Save You". Reminding me the guitar tones on this album when they crop are are very nice. "What Goes Around" should get the dance floor of any good goth club writhing. The beat is not overbearing, but slinks in just the right way. There is a more aggressive drive to "I Need to Be Alone". Not the album's strongest song , but not bad either. The guitar continues to get amped up, this time in a darker more Sisters of Mercy like direction for "Loud and Clear". There is a soft more electronic touch to "Your Kiss" which has drive , but not of the rock variety more synth wave.
I'll round this up to a 8.5 and see how it grows on me. The second half of the album feels a little like they are playing too close to expectations , but what we do expect from them is delivered. They do it better than most of their peers so I am not sure why some songs just connected with me more on the first half and more of the songs later in the album were just kinda "Ok, this works fade into the background" sort of things. Anyway if you are a hard core fan of the band round it up.