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[ Lux Interna - a lantern carried in blood and skin ]
Kooper Kain hails from Vancouver, BC in Canada and consists of the five members Lowe Noise (guitars), Buzz Cauldron (bass), Kooper Kain (vocals), Recoil (guitars) and Danny J. (drums).  These talented artists released their debut album Turning Cities To Salt in May, 2004.  Each of the members have experience in previous and co-existing projects and so have brought this experience as well as past influences together to create their music.

The easiest way to describe their musical style is a combination of 80’s Rock and New Wave combined with modern Gothic Rock influences.  The vocals have definite similarities to Simple Minds, while the pounding and heavy drums coupled with dark guitars and bass bring out that excellent Gothic Rock sound.  The musical compositions are quite unique in many ways, but manage to maintain a catchy and interesting style.

With the release of this debut work, this group is well on their way to a positive musical career.  Be sure to check them out and listen to selections on Gothic Paradise radio.

Turning Cities To Salt – Review

I was completely unfamiliar with this group before this album came out.  I decided to give it a try and I’ve never turned back and don’t have any regrets.  Being a child of the 80’s, the influences of Simple Minds obviously stood out in my mind, but then I heard the guitars and unique percussion rhythms driving the music and fell in love with the Gothic Rock style that permeates each track. It’s nice to be able to hear a group once in a while that is able to combine these styles in such a way that provide a nice hook, something to captivate the listener, even if it’s not a dance-floor album or layered with beautiful ethereal vocals.  In fact, I think the solid and powerful vocals on this album provide the dynamic foundation that is needed to capture the audience.  From the deep bass tones to the high falsetto that he’s not afraid to use, the vocals are strong, unwavering, never showing any hesitation.

With that as an introduction, I think the best way to explain and relate this album is to break down a couple of highlights on the album.  While the introductory track “Icy Stars” is solid and enjoyable, with a dicy beat that brings to life the deep vocals and background grinding guitars, it’s really the dynamic and anthem-like qualities of “Sentence Now” that kick it all off and set the stage for the strengths of this group.  This is one of the few “easy” dance tracks on the album, where the beat is a beat more standard and accessible, but like I’ve already tried to explain, it’s the solid foundation of the strong vocals on a bed of guitars, bass and the solid beat that bring it together into a real masterpiece.  “Moonlight Kiss” is another of these types of tracks that are a little more moving and latch onto the Gothic Rock style.  The grinding guitars come a little more into the foreground on this piece, adding a little bit more of an edge.  “Too Far Gone” is another with almost identical riffs grinding away, but still enjoyable in the same ways.

I think the key to really enjoying this album is to sit back somewhere and listen to it in it’s entirety from beginning to end.  I also think this is an added plus that you don’t have to go through and pick out favorite tracks and skip the rest, and so I enjoy listening to albums best this way.  When I’ve done this it all comes together so well, the strong vocals and nice catchy hooks.  The mix of mid-tempo and down-tempo tracks with ballad-like qualities add an extra perspective on the entire work as a whole.  Even the Dark Ambient pieces on the end which comprise the last two tracks are an added bonus, especially for diverse tastes that can really enjoy these atmospheric pieces.

With 18 tracks total, there is definitely plenty to enjoy on this debut album.  I think people that can appreciate a dynamic vocal range backed by music with a solid Gothic edge can really enjoy this work.

Rating: 4.5/5

Website: www.kooperkain.com

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