Label : Adore Records
Review by Tony Cannella
Born in France and raised in Los Angeles, CyLeW has an interesting musical pedigree and on her second album “Black Lace Prophecy” she and her band showcases their brand of infectious, darkly romantic and ethereal alternative hard rock with pop overtones. “Erase the Scars” is an okay opener, but it is the next song that initially made an immediate impact for me. “Survivor” is just a flat out great song which is the perfect showcase for CyLeW’s emotional vocal style. The band also made a video for it which is worth checking out on their web site. “Dizzy” opens with a simple rock guitar riff and CyLeW’s breathy vocals are the highlight here. Continue reading »
Label : Yidnet
Review by Luisa Mercier
Straight from Fairyland, here she comes. The Spanish singer-songwriter Priscilla Hernandez is multi-talented musician who created a record completely devoted to fairish, ethereal ambient music.
The listener will be lead in a world made of green forests, pale maidens, medieval landscapes. The mood of the album ranges from the creepy “Facing the Dream” to the sensual “Away”. Her sweet vocals play on electronic and piano soundscapes, creating a relaxing, chilling atmosphere.
Some melancholia may appear here and there as in “Ancient Shadow” or “I Steal the Leaves” which is my personal favorite on the album. Completely inspired by the world of fables and fairies are “The Willow’s Lullaby” and “The Call of the Nymph” which also has a slight folk feeling. Recommended to fans of ambient, positive and heartfelt music. Continue reading »
Interview by Luisa Mercier
It was on 2006 that we heard news, for the last time, about Bill Leeb‘s electronic pop project Delerium. After that nothing. But with 2012, after 6 years of silence, Delirium reappears in the music business with the fourteenth album called “Music Box Opera” and since I have always been a great Delerium fan, so it was a great pleasure to have this exclusive interview from Bill.
It’s been a long time since “Nuages du Monde”. How does “Music Box Opera” connect with the past and how does it differ from it?
The concept is still the same, we are trying to create ethereal electronic pop music. Having said that, a lot has changed in the world and with all of us so there’s definitely a growing scenario going on with all the people involved… More specifically would be that we’ve come along way in writing, producing and programming and our tastes have changed… We’ve all matured and we’ve evolved and we tend to think that it comes out in the music.
There are some new entries among the singers, together with already known voices like Kristy Thirsk. How and why did you choose the new ones?
With every record we try to evolve and bring new flavours into the mix, we usually make a list of potential singers we want to work with. We then reach out to them and through attrition and luck we end up with people we respect and want to contribute to the album. It’s definitely a lengthy task cause a lot of people have busy careers and lives so sometimes these things take much longer than anticipated. That’s why its also been 6 years been albums, good things take time.
Am I wrong or the sound is more electronic? What audience do you expect to reach in the music business overcrowded by mainstream acts?
No, we’ve definitely put away all the organic instruments and have gone for a really electronic feel this time. More programming, no acoustic guitars or anything. We thought it was really time to change it up and go down the electronic road, which is kind of where Delerium started from anyways, we like things to be really tweeky now and since technology has so much to offer now we try to expand our horizons.
Have you ever felt so hopeless towards music scene as to want ro give up everything and just go back to a normal kind of life?
No, being an artist is something that picks you, you don’y really pick it. I think all artists are tortured souls, whether they are successful or not because how does one measure success. Is it done through the amount of status you have versus how much wealth you obtain? Or is it just trying to be a pure creative genius who’s simply putting forth something you think the world needs to see or hear. It’s a never ending journey, you could ask any artist of any genre and they will all tell you pretty much the same thing. No piece of art is ever perfect or complete, you go on forever striving for that perfect song even though in the back of your mind you know it’s unreachable, which keeps you going. As far as normal goes, I don’t think anybody lives a normal state, the world is a pretty complicated place.
On an happier note, is there still something you have not tried and you would like to do -music related – in the future?
I would definitely like to score a major motion picture with a real budget that is very artistic and off the beat and track. This is something that has always eluded me and kept my curiosity, I keep hoping that this will be the one thing will still come to fruition down the road. We just finished our second video game soundtrack for a game called AirMech with Front Line Assembly so we are interested to see how that will pan out and where it will lead.
Future project? Touring?
Touring has become a very insidious proposition because it seems like it’s hard to put the show together that you want, and putting something out there that is less than 100 % of your idea and vision feels like you are not reaching your full potential for your audience to see. Everybody tells you now day to go out, lofi, low cost, literally get in a van and tour but is there really a point to that? Will that actually help sell records these days? This is a question the band always talks and thinks about, so at this point we are pretty undecided what the future of live shows will be at this moment in time. Having said that, if the feedback merits it and there is a real demand we will obvious give it a rethink and possibly hit the road and do some shows.
Interview by Ed MacLaren
Since the mid-1990s, The Dreamside have entertained fans across the world with their unique musical vision: gothic, metal and dance music combined to create a singular sound and emotional point of view. With their new album “Lunar Nature”, The Dreamside continues to push the musical envelope and prove without a doubt they’re still as relevant and influential as ever. Vocalist/writer/producer Kemi Vita talks with Femme Metal about “Lunar Nature” and reflect on 15 years in music.
“Lunar Nature” retains many of the electronic elements of your previous efforts but the overall sound is more metal with a cleaner and a definitely more biting sound: much less ethereal. What was the evolution of “Lunar Nature” – especially when it comes after the “13th Chapter” CD of dance remixes?
The evolution of “Lunar Nature” took a time span of around four years and in that time a lot happened. It’s a bit more rock than previous albums, also because we like the live feeling of the new material. Songs like “Higher Ground”, for instance, are great to play live. However, if you get into the album as a whole you will experience much of our music in a more ethereal way. Songs such as “Hush” or “Willing to Learn” are good examples. The dance remixes of “13th Chapter” are a continuous thing of The Dreamside since we always collaborated with other bands and artists and released these kind of dance mixes in the past and most likely in the future. The Dreamside was and will always be a band full of diversity.
The cleaner production on “Lunar Nature” has brought your vocals much more up front in the mix. That vocal focus really benefits the overall feel of the music. How did you approach your vocals with this CD?
We always considered the voice as the most important instrument within our music. We did use different tube microphones and outboards for the various needs of the different songs but also my technique changes for different songs. Over the whole we tried to make the arrangements and the production clearer and leave out anything that would not feature the song as a whole. We usually record all ideas and do a selection in the final mix. Furthermore, I am as open as I can when singing and this intimacy is a red line though out the vocal recordings.
When you listen to the early CDs you can hear that your voice has changed dramatically. It’s stronger with clear highs and a menacing and dark low end. Did your voice develop as you became more experienced or were you trying to vocally reflect the changes in the band’s music?
I think that here you have already given the answers since it’s a mixture of those two elements. With the years I gained a lot of experience and learned so much about the qualities and limitations of my voice. Nevertheless, I also still let my voice go free on the music; the tunes, songs and music trigger my inspiration and therefore my voice. Also, because Roman and I write the music together, music and voices go hand-in-hand from the start of each composition.
What do you think when you listen to your early vocal performances?
Well, I am very critical about myself so I always strive to improve. However, when you put things in perspective, I think my early performances in their own time and space always came from the core. I am proud of all of them.
Back in the mid-1990s when The Dreamside began there were comparatively fewer female singers in the genre than now. Who were your vocal inspirations? Are there any current vocalists that you admire right now?
Yes, there you are hitting a clear point – there were a lot less female singers indeed! I must admit that I listened more to bands with male vocalists but some of my female vocal inspirations were Stevie Nicks, Siouxie, Liz Frasier, Lisa Gerrard and Tori Amos. About your question of recent vocalists, I cannot see the voice without the content. This is one of the reasons that mostly I am not such a fan of highly studied voices. I like artists who are over the whole involved in their art, so I have a lot of respect for the innovation of Bjork; I like the rawnessand sincerity in the music and voices of PJ-Harvey and of Melissa Auf der Maur. Amy Lee has also done some great stuff.
The Dreamside has been going strong for 15 years and the music keeps improving with each release. To what do you owe your longevity?
It’s the fact that our music comes from deep within and has to find its way out in the open! In the past, we got ripped off far too often and the fact that The Dreamside survived its hardships is actually something “supernatural” as a matter of speech.
Musically, the band has also changed dramatically over the years. How important is it to develop your sound? Is there a need to stay “current” or is it more important to stay true to your musical vision?
To us it’s truly remarkable that a great majority of our fans feel and see a clear line in the diversity of our music. They dance on a remix, are romantic with the love songs, are letting go their tears at some ballads and rock with the heavier songs. They call it The Dreamside and after 15 years they know what they can expect from us. Critics and journalists always seem to question the evolution we were going through and in a way I certainly understand that since purely listening to music differs from reviewing and categorizing music. However I believe that our sound became better through the years and we are grateful that this is appreciated. We stay true to our belief in the naturally growing of our musical vision, the challenges that come along and the development of what we create – like we do in many aspects of our lives.
The Dreamside has leaned much more in the metal direction with “Spin Moon Magic” and “Lunar Nature” but split the time between CDs with a collection of dance remixes on “Chapter 13th”. The band definitely has a love for both metal and dance music. How do you reconcile the differences between the two genres?
The Dreamside always was a band full of diversity and we are always looking to improve our sound and be open for new inspirations. It’s not common in the metal scene to do remixes and we are lucky with The Dreamside that we have the opportunity to combine the best of all styles and create our very own thing. We consider this as a pillar of what we do.
The Dreamside is one of the standard-bearing gothic metal bands. What do you think of the current scene and how has it progressed since The Dreamside debuted in the mid-1990s?
Well, we plan to play some festivals this season and we got some invitations from overseas. But I think that this year we mainly play in Europe, Germany and Holland.
What can we expect to see on stage?
The Dreamside loves to play live and it’s always an explosion of energy. I am happy to introduce a new band member who comes in with the guitar section, Louis Buurman. Although he helps to underline the heaviness of the songs when playing live, we include some very sensitive moments in our shows. There is always a sense of magic when we play live and I am very proud of our audience, the crew and our band. We like to give the people always something “extra” with the performance, the sound, the light and our outfits, etc. I would say, just come and find out.
How do your long-time fans respond to The Dreamside‘s evolution over the years? Do you see many of your original fans at your current shows?
The Dreamside fans respond very positive to the development we’ve been through. They also know that we will keep on making different songs so whatever they prefer about The Dreamside will be something with a similar vibe and hopefully even better. Yes, we get many reactions and visitors who followed us since the early days. It warms my heart to know that they come along for our long trip. Many let me know that our music really touched their being and helped to make a change for the better in their lives. That is a beautiful thing so we keep the dream alive and rocking along the way.
Label : Equilibrium Music
Review by Stina
There are very few people in music who can lay claim to hold an influential status as much as Duncan Patterson – not much can be said about the musician (British by birth, globetrotter by vocation) that hasn’t been articulated in some form or fashion in recent and not so recent past. Thankfully enough, Duncan also happens to be one of those Artists whose Music speaks more than any word could possibly do. After contributing to spawn a whole genre with Anathema and embarking on a sorrowful journey with Antimatter, time has been up for Duncan to embrace a spiritual and creative turning point that led him to the creation of Íon, marking his move away from the claustrophobic, hopeless end of the emotional spectrum explored with the previous bands, and a sojourn into more soothing, luminous realms, pervaded and dominated by the effortless grace of the feminine. Since the figure of the female vocalist gained foothold in metal and related genres, it’s always been easy to get tired of the sizable exploitation of the female presence on behalf of the bands which settle the mainstream metal scene, often with no other purpose than mercantile tactics. In Íon, the female presence conveyed through a plethora of talented guests from all over the world is none of this, but rather a defining mean to shape a concept of spirituality inspired by archetypical feminine qualities – this is what lends Íon’s music its calming, peaceful and nurturing allure.
Rating – 90/100
- Damhsa Na Gceithre Ghaoth
- Cetatea Cisnadioara
- The Silent Stars
- Return To Spirit
- Duncan Patterson – Mandolins, guitar, bass, piano, keyboards, percussion
- Vic Anselmo – Vocals on “Adoration”
- Oana Alexandra Coman-Sipeanu – Spoken word on “Cetatea Cisnadioara”
- Gokce Coskun – Violin
- Aoife Cuthbert – Vocals on “Cetatea Cisnadioara”, “Adoration”
- Lisa Cuthbert – Vocals on “Temptation”, “Adoration”, “Invidia”, “Cetatea Cisnadioara”, “The Silent Stars”
- Ana Figueiredo – Flute
- Colin Fromont-Placenti – Djembe, cajón, darbuka
- Mark Kelson – Vocals on “Damhsa na Gceithre Ghaoth”, 12 string guitar
- Mila Maia – Spoken word on “Return To Spirit”
- Steve Mullen – Uilleann pipes
- Veronica Neumann – Spoken word on “Immaculada”
- Gina Rios – Spoken word and vocals on “Immaculada”
- Nuno Roberto – Portuguese guitar, classical guitar
- Viola Roccagli – Spoken word and vocals on “The Silent Stars”
- Laura Santos – Vocals on “Return To Spirit”
- Filipa Vale – Violin, cello
Style switcher only on this demo version. Theme styles can be changed from Options page.
- Arkona – “Decade of Glory” LIVE (2013)
- Оксидерика – “Step to Darkness” (2013)
- Chaostar – “Anomima” (2013)
- Helalyn Flowers – “White Me In Black Me Out” (2013)
- My Ruin – “The Sacred Mood” (2013)
- Belladonna – “Shooting Dice With God” (2013)
- Visions of Atlantis – “Ethera” (2013)
- Upon Wings – “Afterlife” EP (2013)
- Maxine Petrucci – “Back to the Garden” (2013)
- Masterforce – “Until the End of Time” DEMO (2011)
- COURAGE MY LOVE return with “Becoming” EP
- Maledia – “Your Angels Cry” EP (2012)
- Lumus – “Bacchus’ Curse” (2012)
- Lightless Moor – “The Poem – Crying My Grief to A Feeble Dawn” (2013)
- Hurtful Witch – “Spectra” (2013) [DEMO] [REISSUE]
- Ivalys – “Lumen” (2013)
- Hydrogyn – “Private Sessions” (2012)
- Heart Shaped Rock – “Brought it On” SINGLE (2012)
- Igorrr – “Hallelujah” (2012)
- North Diamond – “По Ту Сторону Бытия” ["On the Other Side of Being" - "Po Tu Storonu Biytiya"] (2012)
- Kvitrafn (Einar Selvik) – Wardruna
- THE EDGE OF PARADISE @ The Mix, Seattle, WASHINGTON, USA – 27/04/2013
- Jessie Ware – “Devotion” [The Gold Edition] (2013)
- Hugo Flores & Jessica Lehto – Factory of Dreams
- Carter Tutti Void – “Transverse” (2012)
- Jennifer Borg – Divine Ascension
- Black Sun Aeon – “Blacklight Deliverance” (2011)
- Black Heaven – “Dystopia” (2011)
- Fourever – “Solitarium” (2012)
- Embassy of Silence – “Antler Velvet” (2013)