In Memoriam - Review
This is a great new project to the pages of Gothic Paradise. Formed by Philbrey Botha, David Mauchline and Sara Eksteen a couple of years ago.
The results of this formation is their 2012 album In Memoriam
. This gem features a great mix of heavy-hitting darkwave music across thirteen tracks
for an excellent album and great addition here.
From the very start with the introductory symphonice track "Incemptum", the heavy synths and beats dominate the music on this album. From the very first time
I heard "Dance of the Dead" on the Wicked Trax
compilation, I was captivated with the heavy, pounding percussion and deep, pulsating, heavily layered
synths. That piece, which also appears on this album just under half-way through, has quickly become a favorite track here for me especially, as well as for
our listeners. Sara's smooth female vocals provide a nice lead to the dark and heavy layers that form each of the compositions on this album.
The overall flow and feel of the album is fairly mid-tempo as the power is felt in the composition and emotional intensity of the music rather than the tempo.
"Holding On" starts off as more of a heavy down-tempo piece as the pulsating synths moving along with the slower beats. This gives way to "Alpha & Omega" which
introduces us to some deep male vocals which actually end up taking something of a prominent role on this as well as included on a couple of other tracks.
This mix of male and female vocals provides a nice dynamic for the already dynamic and intense musical style throughout the album. The pace definitely picks
up with "Condemnation", which sports something of a heavy-hitting electro-pop style, definitely something to keep the body moving on the dance floor while
the vocals and lyrics are loaded with defiance and power. This brings us to the definite highlight and favorite piece on the album for me in "Dance of the Dead".
As noted above, it contains so many great elements of heavy-hitting electro-goth music with the pounding rhythms and undulating heavy electronics all coming
together behind Sara's haunting vocals. "The Possession" keeps these heavy and dark moods thick as ever especially with the distorted sinister vocals
that mix so well on this piece as a nice accent to the gloomy music. "Lost in a Moment" starts to bring it down a notch as we start to bring the main
part of the album to a close, once again presented with the deeper male vocals also including the heavily distorted vocals to give the finishing touch.
"A Final Breath" serves as a soft and ethereal piece to wrap up the selection of original tracks (besides the instrumental piece "Mors Omnibus" to follow). This piece definitely shows a softer, more beautiful
and hopeful side to the music, something of a nice break, a ray of sunshine amongst the thick gray clouds, no matter how much you might love or need the rain,
when the sun breaks through at the end, it's always a brilliant and beautiful accent. As noted, "Mors Omnibus" adds the final touch to these pieces with a nice
instrumental postlude before introducing the extra remixes on the album.
With that we move into the remaining pieces which include various remixes of some of the highlight tracks from the album, starting it off with the "Ankst Remix"
of "Dance of the Dead" which is more of an electronica-style of this stellar piece, bringing out more of an electro-pop feel. The original is excellent and
so you can't do too bad with any remix without straying too far. The "GdA remix" of "Condemnation" puts even more of an EBM style to this piece with the
moving techno beat taking a prominent part in this remix with more techno-like synths forming the background. These techno styles continue on with the
"Stephen from Axxon remix" of "Alpha & Omega" also building on the original with moving techno and trance-laiden keyboards. The final remix is the "Tricks
and Traps remix" of "The Possession". On this one we're featured with a hint of dub-step with the stuttering electronics, heavy beat and vocoded robotic
In summary we have here an excellent album, including the alternate remixes for a very dynamic album. With the heavy darkwave influence, I really think
fans of the heavier electro-goth styles will love this album, especially the highlight for me "Dance of the Dead". Everything falls into place well for a nice
flow and the inclusion of the remixes makes it a nice full album for many fans to enjoy.