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img This project was formed in 2000 by the spanish artist known as Sol as a solo project. He has been joined over the years by various guitar and bass players for live and other collaborations. The self-titled debut album was released in 2002 with follow-up albums in 2004 and each year after for a total of seven albums and a best of compilation released in two volumes in 2010 and 2011 and later released as a single set in late 2011 as Emptiness Vol. 1 & 2. Along with being active releasing all of this music, the band has appeared on the stage in various countries across Europe and have been invited to play at several festivals from the home country of Spain, to the U.K., Portugal, Austria and Romania.

We first heard selections from this band in late 2011 with the release of the double album mentioned above. The mix of dark gothic sounds from this project is a welcome addition to our collection. Their style is definitely anchored in the roots of dark, gothic rock of the 80's and 90's, similar to a mix between Nosferatu and early sounds of The Cure up through their Wish album. The mix of upbeat, dance-friendly gothic music with the downtempo, brooding pieces featuring piano, synths and soaring guitar is the perfect formula to make any true fan of the old batcave music swoon. While we're just becoming acquainted with this group and even though they have a long history already, we hope for many more years to come filled with great music.

Emptiness Vol. 1 & 2 - Review

It is a true pleasure to have this double-album getting many hours of play time in all the various places I listen to music from my office, mp3 player, phone, car, home stereo and headphones alike. img This is a great way to get to know this band since it seems I've missed their first decade of existence. Hopefully he'll stay active and continue to release more so we can enjoy them more with current releases rather than always catching up. This double-album is excellent in that it covers a long history of their music including 15 tracks on each disc for a total of 30 captivating, dark gothic pieces.

The first disc and album starts off somber and slow with "Beneath the Stars". An angst-ridden piece, oozing with raw emotion, pain and longing in the vocals and reflected in the somber moods of the piano and layered background synths. With this as an intro, it's just a taste of what's to come over the next two hours and 30 pieces. While the album continues on fairly slow with "You Are Always in My Mind" with equally somber moods, it does pick right up with a classic gothic rock sound on "Always It's the Same". With this piece we start to get a feel for the range of music we can expect from this band. Much like the related counterparts in the gothic-related genres, we can expect some dark, brooding downtempo pieces, various intrumentals and definitely some gothic rock to keep the black-clad crowd dancing.

Since there's no way we can touch on all 30 pieces, we'll try and mention just a few of the pieces that really stand out and make this group who they are and stand out from the rest. The aforementioned pieces immediately struck me as favorites with the solid vocals and classic goth sound structures from the driving, heavy beat and soaring guitar. This comes out very well on "Broken Dreams" which is a definite favorite with the pleading vocals, driving beats and mix of guitar and backing electronics for a solid gothic rock sound as well as on "Empty Eyes". An absolute haunting favorite is "Ich Denk an Dich". While the first half of the song features a simple piano loop and a heavy background bass and a somber chorus synth overlaying it all. This eventually gives way to some of the most sincere, depressive, pleading vocals I've heard in a long time for a perfectly haunting piece. "Thrust" follows a bit later in much the same vain as well as "Your Are The One" with a more upbeat sound and caressing, subtle guitars that really help hold the listener entranced.

As we drift along through the somber or driving sounds, it's obvious that this album is really packed with great material and it's hard to even find time and space to write about just the favorites. However, let's try to delve into the second disc now just a bit. Right away after the short "Intro" track we're presented with "I Am With You" which features a unique, heavy percussion to accent the somber moods. This fades away to another favorite in "Dead Dream" with it's moody mix of somber synths and steady beat as a backdrop to the gliding guitar and imploring vocals portraying the thought-provoking lyrics. "Leaving Myself" appears a bit later and once again brings on the driving gothic rock sounds that fans of classic gothic rock can really sink their fangs into. As the album starts to wind down we're left with a few last remaining treats with "The Watcher" as a mid-tempo somber piece which drifts along and fades nicely into the very Cure-esque "All I Need", think along the lines of "One More Time" or "To Wish Impossible Things" and you get an idea of the somber moods and styles present on this piece, while this is no means any sort of copy, just based on good taste. It all wraps up with a similar, though more upbeat track "Again". It seems appropriate as we wish to hear it all again and again and long to hear more great music like this.

There you have it, even after listening to 30 pieces straight from this band, I still don't get tired of it, in fact while writing this I've listened to some songs several times through and the entire thing at least twice. While the quality may be slightly lacking when compared wiht some of the larger bands with more fame, and more money... a certain lack of quality is always a staple in these genres with a D.I.Y. style and attitude many of us have grown to love springing out of the punk and post-punk roots. Overall it's a great work and I'm very pleased to have so much great material to enjoy in one shot, definitely worth picking up if you're like me and just being introduced to this band.

Rating: 4.5/5

Website: www.theeternalfall.com

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