gothic

Ataraxia * Sueños (cd 2001 cruel moon)

I wonder if there is any presure for the band. After 9 full-length cds and a variety of other releases of which the last 5 are nothing less than masterpieces and the rest is exceptional or ‘just’ very good, would they be striving for an equal level of quality or just make music as they like it? When I heard of a new upcoming cd a while back my expectations were naturally high, since Ataraxia is definately one of my favourite bands. So when I got it and listened to it, my only conclusion (even with the high expectations) could only be: “what else could it be than another masterpiece?”.
“Sueños” has the more medieval sound that Ataraxia produces on many of their cds (in contrary to the more neo-classical cds that they also make) and if I’m correct this disc contains old, rare, unreleased songs and songs that were so far only to be heard on live performances.
The cd is divided in three parts and all songs have a short description of when, how or why it was written. It agains comes in a good-looking ‘disc box slider’ on Cold Meat Industry, and according to the band new songs have been written and recorded and there will be a lot of live performances this summer. If you want to (try to) keep up with this band, be sure to visit Ataraxia.net regularly and subscribe to their newsletter. And of course buy “Sueños” asap!

Ataraxia * Lost Atlantis (cd 1999 cruel moon int’l)

Ah, a new cd of one of the best bands that I know. This may be some kind of celebration too, because “Lost Atlantis” is the tenth cd of this Italian band (then I also count the mcd “Orlando”). “Lost Atlantis” should have been released quite a long time back, but various reasons delayed it’s release. Just like “Historiae” “Lost Atlantis” is released by the notorious label Cold Meat Industry from Sweden. Because there was a rumour that this cd would come as a box, I was very curious about what Karmanik would make of that. Instead of a box I ‘just’ got a discboxslider (like with the Arcana cd and the previous Ataraxia on CMI). This turned out to be the box…
Anyway, the music is of course brilliant. Some songs can also be found on the live video/cd box “Os Cavaleiros Do Templo” that was released by the Portugese label Symbiose/Vortex about half a year ago. “Lost Atlantis” is somewhat different from other Ataraxia cds. Where you can divide the previous cds in the groups neo-classical and neo-medieval, “Lost Atlantis” is more atmospheric, but not really neo-classical or neo-medieval. The lucky few who have been able to lay their hands on the earlier mentioned live-box will know what I mean. Even though I think this cd is not as good as other Ataraxia cds, “Lost Atlantis” is still much better than most other releases I’ve recently obtained. I guess it’s difficult to keep such a level as Ataraxia does and still try to do different things. I can promise you -though- that no real Ataraxia fan will really be disappointed.

Artwork * Digital Kharma (cd 1999 etage music)

This is already the sixth cd of Artwork. A German experimental (neo-)gothic project that mainly caught the attention over the involvement of Oswald Henke of Goethes Erben. He doesn’t have too big of a role though. This cd doesn’t reach the level of the previous one. It’s mostly atmospheric and the classical influences are again very big. Guitars are also to be found here, yet the neo-gothic/medieval tunes are less present. The great tenor still sings a lot, fortunately.

Expretus * Spiegelsaal (cd 2001 lichtbringer)

Hm, I have to watch out buying cds on package and label. Lichtbringer released the wonderfull “Sonnwin” cd a while back and I was told that Expretus would sound something like Belborn and The Moon Lay Hidden, so I figured I would give it a try. I don’t know where they got the idea of mentioning these two bands, but Expretus has nothing whatsoever incommon with The Moon and very little with Belborn. Actually Expretus is not folky at all, but very gothic of sound. Atmospheric music, sometimes with piano, sometimes a bit electronic. I don’t like the gothic vocals too much and the music isn’t too good either.

Chamber (l’orchestre de chambre noir) * Pleasure And Pain (cdemo 2000)

I had never heard of this band until they played at a free festival in Rotterdam (Netherlands) which had a “Cybergothic” stage. I saw a beautiful neo-folk performance with a male singer and an acoustic guitar and four young women on violin (2), cello and bass. It took me a while to find this band, there was nothing available at the festival and in the end the band turned out to not simply be called “Chamber”, but with the double name “Chamber / l’Orchestre de Chambre Noir”. “Pleasure And Pain” is the first cd of Chamber and actually it is a very professionally looking demo. The actual cd will be recorded this autumn and should be available from Trisol records coming spring.
The line-up on this cd is a bit different from when I saw them. On the cd there are two men and three women, two guitars and only one violin. Also the music is a bit different from what I remember. The cd has a more gothic sound while I remember a more neo-folk oriented performance. I think that if you want to compare this band with anything, it is best to say that it sounds something like the “From The Heart” cd of Shadow Project. Chamber is more orchestral though and there is a bit more neo-folk in Chamber as well and some medieval influences. The music is always very moody and very beautiful and if you like classically oriented gothic music or neo-folk, I suggest that you visit the band’s nice webpage and get a copy of this cd.