Mar 19, 2011

[Review] Darkwave From The South: Brazilian Goth Songs

Write by Mick Mercer

This isn’t as strong as the previous South American compilations, as I don’t think enough bands have sufficient robust personality to give the collection a cohesive power, as a more fluttery, translucent feel hangs over it, but you’ll find plenty of bands to be interested in.

There’s plenty of discreet atmosphere lurking inside Der Kalte Stern’s reserved and pretty ‘Foi-se Uma Eternidade.’ Harry have a wonderfully willful electronic rush constantly buzzing through the softer post-punk melodic concerns of a cutely rattling ‘Genebra.’ Epic Church are peculiar, their ‘Ceinwyn’ frothing initially like a dance fountain then settling back into sparse pulsing with a pop vocal melody. Ecos D'Alma start with basic synth simplicity in ‘Misericórdia’, the keys gradually warming, the horizon widening to encompass a brisk dance rhythm and sub-New Order vibrancy.

A nervy punky spirit keeps Nene Altro & O Mal de Caim’s ‘O Lado Errado’ lunging forward with some passionately corkscrewed vocals. Orquídeas Francesas have a scalded live recording of ‘Vencedores (Ao Vivo)’ which is a nice mess; guitar sliding down the lumpy post-punk body of stocky drums and wayward vocals all drawn into an energetic compress. The Knutz have a superbly light touch, with a shimmering guitar glow to ‘The Hanging Man’ even though it gets tangled up in itself, with an unusually escalating vocal angst.

Nempty are also scurrilously dark and secretive in ‘Na Tempestade’ which seethes softly, the guitar flashing in among the electronic clouds, with the equally impressive Plastique Noir tottering through a wildly impulsive ‘Shadowrun’ with its lethal little guitar incendiaries and crafty vocals, all highly contagious. Das Projekt have some old school agitation woven through the Goth grief of ‘Unknown Pleasures’ as it huffs and puffs with a collapsing vocal and spiraling guitar. Elegia’s ‘Spell In The Cathedral (Remix)’ is the slinkiest, catchiest track here, deadly in the rhythmic shuffle, decorated by slender guitar strands and some dashing, imprisoned vocals. Projeto Renfield romp in early Cult style during the start of ‘Her Shadow’ with flatlining vocals and a cronky keyboard to follow up.

Sunset Down’s ‘Blue Sunrise 2.0 (Demo)’ is understandably rickety, a solemn Goth bundle that threatens to expire on the spot. The intriguingly named Goatlove have a very dramatic Goth style of the cowboy hat variety and slings ‘Automatic Fire’ left and right with a lusty shuttle beat and flashy guitar bursting out all over. Seduced by Suicide have the honour of providing the most beautiful song in a emotionally committed Goth ballad ‘My Sweetest Choice.’ Sunseth Midnight rock metallically through a flamboyant, choppy ‘(She's Not) Innocent’ and Das Projekt Der Krummen Mauern makes for a busy and imposing end as ‘Mortal Remains’ scampers by with an imperiously vocal wave.