Mar 29, 2011

[Review] A World in Darkness: South America Goth Collection

Write by Mick Mercer

Sunset Down have the just the right amount of trad Goth fustiness to their ‘Genocide Of Angels.’ A Brazilian band, singing in English, there is a decent ache to the questioning vocals, and bouncy keyboards alongside heroically unraveling guitar, plus some fine maverick bass hammering. Fellow countrymen Imperial have a much more rockist attack through the secretive drama of ‘A Grande Batalha’ fizzing metallic guitar falling in fear from the demonic vocal and all tempestuously ungainly.

We get a rare peek into Paraguayan Goth courtesy of Stranger Angels whose ‘Angels Crying Down’ has a glorious cantering clatter and sharp ambient synth washes, this inventive percussive timbre enriching the ashen vocals which start small and self-pitying but grow increasingly bolder. A boundless joy, that’s what. Colombian nutters Pitchipoii sway austerely though the scabby fun of ‘Evidencias De Un Suicidio’ then it’s back to Brazil for Orquideas Francesas’ pretty fluid post-punk ‘Flores De Cera’ with frisky guitar rubbing some surly bass up the right way.

Argentina’s Euroshima have interesting quivering vocals over brisk skeletal guitar in ‘Sonrisas Fabricadas’ which sets up nicely stark atmospherics. Elegia are casually magnificent as expected, marching with a Bauhausian gait throughout ‘Lady Caffeine’ and Uruguay’s vigorous RRRRRRR disport themselves nobly as ‘Maniquí’ courses along with stylish guitar, high class vocals and wonderfully chunky bass, space and heaving excitement all crammed in. Brazilians Jardim Do Silêncio are impressively gloomy in the relentlessly grizzled ‘Sombra Fria’ which is not without its charm. Argentina’s sweetly demented Melancoholicos gleefully corrupt the wedding march as they glide across garagey organ and twittering guitar in the scampering ‘Ataúd Matrimonial’

We then start three tracks from Brazil with The Caroline exhibiting an intriguing Latin balladeer flair during the dignify melodic intentions of ‘Caroline.’ Última Dança maintain this mellifluous vocal style for their ‘Além Dos Montes’ with demure, ghostly synth touches, all superbly air and haunting. Ecos D'Alma are a different beast, like a brooding Cold Wave drone for the most part, but there is also a pretty recurring synth motif in ‘Armagedom.’ The GraveyadZ are Argentinean weirdoes, their ‘Deathrock Alive’ inching forward speculatively behind some interesting, waywardly theatrical vocals, the title actually sounding liker “this world can die.” Peruvians Espiritus Xelene allow the shifting rhythmical texture and brightly winking keyboards full reign behind confidently optimistic vocals, making ‘Detras De Ty’ an interesting, fluttery experience. Back to Brazil for Seduced By Suicide’s winsome pop mooching in ‘The Death Of My Life’, while Chile’s Exuvia tease with a slowly uncoiling ‘Lamentos’ that is on the cloudy metal side of things with spectacularly powerful female vocals. Brazil’s The Knutz are great fun in the sinuous ‘Ghost Dance Party’ where chirpy synth meets grazed guitar and punky vocal shivers.

We close with two Peruvian bands. Lima 13, whose busy ‘Destinos Contra La Pared’ has brave quavering vocals and discreet guitar touches, with some nimble electro from Synthesis in the twinkly ‘El Final’ to finish, drawing another fascinating collection to a close, with some decidedly non-Goth brightness, but it’s a decidedly cute number.