Hailing from Sacramento, California and formed well before their self-titled debut release in 1995, this group has proven to be a name well recognized in the Gothic/Ethereal genre. The band was formed by and consists of the trio Victoria Lloyd (vocals, lyrics), Chris Ross (programming) and Ben Fargen (guitars). This trio has proven to be able to take this sound to new levels and with the success of their various full-length albums (various re-releases in the states and in Europe) and their remix album they are well on their way to branching out and garnering fans from all over the world.
The easiest way to describe the music of this group is to mention the Heavenly Voices
compilations and most people familiar with those will instantly recognize what I'm talking about. Mostly incorporating a dreamy, emotional and sometimes dark gothic-oriented sound with beautiful siren-like vocals. While their influences may range somewhat into the rock or pop genres, the dreamy elements always seem to come out and dominate their style in the end. This is something that has grown on me and what makes them the stellar and solid group that they are.
Be sure to check out tracks on all of the Gothic Paradise radio shows. There is something for everyone from this talented group.
Lustre - Review
It has been an incredibly long wait for this latest album and I wasn't sure if it was ever coming but here it is at last and they are as strong as ever.
The album comes packaged with some simple artwork and photo of the (now four) band members. The disc contains ten solid tracks that build on and continue in the same solid Heavenly Voices genre of their previous works.
The album starts off with the title track in a slow to mid-tempo rhythm with Victoria's dreamy vocals leading the way. This dreamy piece gives way to an excellent dance-friendly, upbeat piece appropriately titled "Shine" as it's bright and uplifting with it's subtle guitar, solid bass and moving beat. This piece with it's excellent groove and catchy rhythm quickly became a favorite from this album, but that's just the beginning.
As the album winds on we're mostly presented with more of the down-tempo, dreamy pieces, which is great for me as a fan of this style of music. These pieces provide excellent music for listening on a lazy Sunday morning, or while relaxing on a cool evening by the fireplace curled up with a good book or a loved one. The combination of subtle percussion, various synths and guitar with the soothing vocals all bring the album and each track together very nicely. It's hard to pick out favorites, they're all so good. Pieces like "Into Oblivion" start out soft, slowly building to a crescendo bringing out the powerful emotions, while others "Mercurial" just remain spell-binding throughout with a solid, constant rhythm. This piece also features the excellent talents of Erica Mulkey on cello for a very nice organic touch.
As the album wraps up, we're presented with a couple of upbeat tracks with some more prominent harsher electronics and guitar, and solid percussion. These pieces lead up to the somber finale to the album "Washaway" which has also become another favorite. This pieces presents various ambient soundscapes that wander, ebb and flow with the very somber and subtle soundscapes, keeping the vocals as the focal point. This is a great way to wind up another excellent album that is highly recommended for fellow fans of the ethereal music genres.
Love Is Blind - Review
Fans familiar with the sound of this talented group will no doubt already have this latest album and have it well broken in on their CD players. For those that enjoy the Gothic/Ethereal sound, then this album is a must-have for your collection.
Picking up right where they left off with their last two albums and after quite a long wait, we're presented with Love Is Blind
. I must say that they couldn't have picked a more suiting title. Most of the tracks carry this slightly melancholy theme throughout in a more laid-back nature. "Pieces" probably stands out the most among the otherwise slow-tempo tracks except for one or two others like "Silence" with it's steady drums and rhythm. But this first track adds a dream-pop and trip-hop element to it that fans of the genre should really enjoy.
Besides these nice up-beat tracks, the real beauty lies within the dreamy, mystical soundscapes that are more ever-present throughout the album. I have to start immediately with my absolute favorite track on this work with "Abyss". Anyone familiar with the Gothic Paradise Ethereal Mix would have quickly realized this is a favorite of mine for all the airplay it gets. The dreamy electronics and absolutely mystifying and memerizing lyrics and vocals are captivating to say the least. But it doesn't end there, the dreamy soundscapes give way to and include some somber and dreamy percussion near the end. If you don't have the lyrics in front of you, you really have to listen through all the reverb and echo to catch the meaning, but it is there, solid and true, beautiful and majestic, yet plain and simple and simply stunning. I can't say that "Abyss" is the only track that captivates me that way. But in fact there are several others including "Mirror" with a more pop-sounding tone, but still dreamy as ever. "Warm" is another that follows somewhat in this more minimalistic and somber style.
With 10 beautiful tracks, there is a little bit of something for everyone in this genre. The closing and title track wraps it up perfectly with nice piano arrangements and a slowly building to a nice crescendo and fading away again leaving the listener entranced and not wanting for anything more, but simply fulfilled and ready to listen to it all over again. I really commend this group for carrying on with their trademark sound and building on it with even more solid talent and beauty. While overall it's a solid treat, I don't think it lacks much unless you want more of a consistent sound with less variation. But it should be a legendary and enjoyable album for fans old and new alike.
Labels: Metropolis Records