Monday, December 9, 2013

The Digital Angel – Affirmation of Life EP (2013)


The Digital Angel
Affirmation of Life EP 

The Digital Angel is delivering a new EP, somewhere between Gothic Rock of the 90’s and Dark Wave of the 80’s, with an indie twist to it.

It is an interesting release, as they manage to give a unity to the EP, although the songs have different styles and colors. Part of it probably thanks to the fact that they take some time for a short intro in the first track, and a very mystic epilogue. The title track “Affirmation of life” has it all: a deadly beat, raging guitars, and eerie synths backed up by a solid bass line, now THIS is Gothic Rock. Some tracks, like “Mr Change” or the catchy “Shining like the sun” have a more indie rock feel. Straightforward, effective rock n’roll for your pleasure. “Never let things slide” and “Wymarzona (Love Lasts Forever)” are great example of how gothic rock can sometimes have a more mainstream sound and still be true. These two songs seem to be two sides of the same coin, they have a similar theme, and while the in the first one the band chose to increase the intensity as the song goes, in “Wymarzona” heavy guitars and drums alternate with Spanish guitar and piano parts. “Tolestein” presents darker colors, with drama filled vocals, changes of rythms, gloomy synths, and a climax that made me think of some kind of glam rock opera. It is the most Dark Wave sounding track of the EP.

One of the strengths of the band is the strong, low voice of Krzysztof Steffan Kmiec, somehow reminding me of Sven Friedrich’s voice. If you like different styles of rock music in the same record, you’ll probably like this one. Most songs, in their different styles, have a similar –classic- construction. Personally, I prefer the darkest songs of this EP, and I hope the band will choose to grow darker in the future.


Guillaume Renard

Friday, December 6, 2013

Interview with Soror Dolorosa (2013) - Part II (English)


I had the chance to interview Soror Dolorosa before their amazing show at the SGM Festival, Madrid. Andy Julia (vocals), Frank Ligabue (drums), Hervé Carles (bass), Nicolas Mons (guitar) and David-Alexandre Parquier, called DA (guitar) squeezed in the tiny backstage of the Gruta 77 to answer my questions. Thanks a lot to the band, here is the interview…
Guillaume Renard
On tour
You're touring since the release of the second album, I would like to know what are your impressions on this tour compared to the previous one.

Andy: "No More Heroes" has been a transition for us. We moved from a not really looked at band to a band that people are expecting. We clearly felt the impact of this album. Now we have much better conditions on tour, the feedback of the public is multiplied by 2 or 3. We took time to make an album, we put everything we could into it, so it's good to have such feedback. The album has worked for himself, with the press and with the fan-base, which has grown, people have start to cling more to our music. So for us it is a transition album... and we also learned to compose music in a different way. All this leads us to consider things to a larger extent, the scene as well. It has expanded our vision.

You have made mostly festivals this year, is it a formula that suits you better than a proper Soror Dolorosa tour?

Andy: Yes, for now festivals are good for us. Our fan-base is not large enough for us to be able to tour alone and make shows in front of 200-300 people, as we have done it in all the cities that we have visited. The festivals are a great way to get the public to know you, to meet other acts, there are many people in the same place at the same time, it creates a special atmosphere. And the afters in festivals are also nice, because there are a lot of people and we like to party, we like people and in festivals you get to meet people, it's nice.

Which songs do you prefer to play on stage? How does the public respond to these songs? Are you sometimes surprised by the audience’s reaction to a song?

Frank: I enjoy playing all our songs, although there are some songs I would like to take a break from, because we have played them so much, but people expect them, so they stay in our set. All the songs from the last album are very enjoyable to play, they are punchy, they are catchy and it is a pleasure for me to play them.

DA: All the songs give me the same pleasure when I play them. We use more or less the same setlist and the songs are more or less in the same order since the beginning of the tour, and the transition songs in the set are the one I appreciate the most, like "Silversquare”, which comes at a time when I have had time to warm up and this is when I totally get in the show and forget all the rest. I discovered Soror when I was 16-17 years , with the first EP , and became a total fan, so playing songs like "Beau Suicide" is amazing for me. I used to listen to it with my little headphones on my way to high school! Regarding the "hits" I can understand Frank, but in general we get such a fucking good feedback of the audience that I personally love playing them.

Andy: It also depends a lot on the public's reaction , and it’s something you can’t foresee. Sometimes we play a song like "Autumn Wounds" , which was a hit on dance-floors, and when we start playing it I think "Well, ok, let's go, let's play Autumn Wounds…" and then I look at the people in front, they start dancing, people are waiting for the lyrics to start singing along. It lifts you up and you rediscover the song through the public. We don’t want to do all the time the same concert, we adapt, as we are a live band. The songs don’t sound always the same and the reaction of the public affects our behavior and our perception of the concert, and we like that.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Aeon Sable – Aequinoctium EP (2013)


Aeon Sable 
Aequinoctium 
Afmusic

From their first work, “Per Aspera Ad Astra”, Aeon Sable has set high standards. Their last release, “Aequinoctium” is no exception. It sounds very good, the production work is excellent. This time, the band has chosen to keep the same direction, but digs deeper in their hard rock and psychedelic influences, as shows the fantastic title track “…Aequinoctium” with its Arabic mysterious guitars. It is impossible not to think of Sisters of Mercy, Nephilim and other classics, influences are still clear and accepted. “Tenfifteen” is a dancefloor hit with its clear drum sound, catchy hooks and new wavish synths. But the main force of “Aequinoctium” is beyond a doubt the long epic tracks coming in the second part of the disc. Aeon Sable knows how to take their time to settle an atmosphere, with very down tempo songs. “Secret Flowers” offers passion and drama, and roaring heavy guitars at the end: it is an instant classic. This is a beautiful song, my favorite of this release by far. “Long Road” is like a ballad filled with nostalgia and rock guitars, scented with the Aeon Sable touch. The album concludes with another epic track: “Drawing Circles Square”and its desperate ending: vocals are filled with emotion.

This EP gives a more organic feeling than their previous works, and it makes it emotionally deeper. If you have liked the band’s previous works, you will love this one. With Aeon Sable things get better and better.

Guillaume Renard

Monday, November 18, 2013

Angels of Liberty - Pinnacle Of The Draco (2013) Re- issue

In the third wave of goth there are very few bands that have achieved "cultlike status". It's not a title that you get by being on magazine covers or by spending countless amounts of money on promotion. It's not something you can buy, it's something that you have to earn and the only people that you can earn it from is the fans. It's the fans who ultimately determine which bands achieve this prestigious status. With only two EP's to their name so far, Angels Of Liberty have already achieved what only a few bands in the early nineties ever achieved, cultlike status. Everything that the Angels of Liberty does ends up oozing with goth rock tradition. They define the new sound of the goth rock anthem with songs that flow with an astonishing naturalness, which is uncommon in an time where bands tend to be a clone of clone or are musically too obvious in their influences. Although it's unfair to compare their sound to anything in the past, the influence of Sisters of Mercy merged with Nosferatu come to mind when describing the sound that has made this young band a standout in the third wave of goth rock. Pinnacle of the Draco is a breath of fresh air, an album which I think is already a classic and classics are forever. Angels of Liberty is co-writing the history of gothic music for the new millenium. I have rarely seen a band leave the label sold out in a short time, only a few bands can boast of having achieved merit. As I always will say, don't forget my friends, just play it loud because this is gothic rock. Oskar Terramortis – This is Gothic Rock / Gothic Music Records

Every once in a great while a band comes along that becomes the standard to which all others are measured. Ever since their iconic first cassette release Angels Of Liberty have shown the potential to be that band. Now with their newest release Pinnacle of the Draco on Gothic Music Records they've fulfilled that destiny. Powerful, anthem filled, dark yet melodic and an instant classic, Pinnacle of the Draco is a must have for any serious collector of classic goth rock. - Tom Stamates / Cathedral 13

Listening to the Angels of Liberty is a mind blowing, time-travel experience back to the glorious days of Nosferatu's "Rise" & "Legend". The Angels of Liberty have rekindled the flame of true Goth, making some of the best Gothic rock music of the last decade. Fondas Sumerson

Pinnacle Of The Draco: ¿Gothic Rock de los noventa en el siglo XXI? No, no, Gothic Rock atemporal para todo aquel al que los noventa le duraron solo diez años. Guitarras poderosas, voces profundas, bajos demoledores, ritmos desquiciados… Pinnacle Of The Draco, ese oscuro atractivo de la belleza. Probablemente no sea el mejor disco de la historia de la música, pero escucharlo te va hacer sentir como si lo fuera. Juan Francisco Camacho / Laletracapital

It seems as demiurge would have squeezed the 80s and all the essential dark sounds remained was coated with rust-resistant surface of empowered visions from the 3rd millennium. Its launching abides unceasingly through the gothic galleries. Paul Deheleanu

Pinnacle of the Draco is one of the most my loved albums! It brings a great new goth sound which is so fantastic. If you will listen this album, you will love it like me! Angels of Liberty is one of the best choice for every goth rocker!. Mildo Škrabák