Feb 27, 2011

[Review] The Dark Light Of The Edge Of The World: Chilean Goth Songs

Write by Mick Mercer

I first really got delve into Chilean dark sounds when putting the Music To Die For book together and beyond my own searching was aided with suggestions from Alvaro Pavié. I found much to be admired, in music which instantly makes sense to anyone of the Goth persuasion, regardless of geographical location.

Luna In Caelo’s ‘Soplo Divino’ is a lightly trembling form of demure Goth, the vocal seeming hesitant but gliding through a gloomy guitar-lit landscape. Porcelain Doll may have changed their name but find them anyway because ‘The Judge Lance’ is a whispery melodrama with dreamy synth in a filthy setting, the confidential vocals sinking into a quicksand of evil guitar. A carnival wistfulness, screams and chainsaw start Ego Te Absolvo’s plunking ‘El Gran Festín’ which is catchy and lightly murky, a nightmare hidden inside plaintive music box surrounds. Enochian Angelus have a little organ sounding almost like playfully mournful brass as ‘Mi Dolor Es Tuyo’ and this is a capricious little thing, a pleasing drama played out with serious operetta nuances in its courtly embraces, and also some deranged undertones worthy of Andi Sex Gang in a tuxedo.

Convulsiones have a brittle post-punk beauty etched into the supine Goth loveliness pof ‘Ordinary Game’, superb vocals once again draped over delicate guitar inching its way forward submissively. Falling Angels do a grumbling version of Goth Metal in ‘Of Worms And Religion’ with gruff male vocals and a widdling guitar break, over clattery drums and a consistently dour atmosphere. Aldearoja do more post-Ambient Goth with a beleaguered spirit, the vocals ashen and drawn out as spectral guitar roams ‘Manto Negro.’ Exuvia also do a sort of Goth Metal with a delicious Latin drama and passion so ‘Volver En El Tiempo’ is way better than the German and Dutch fluff we have all become used to. You may already know how brilliant Espejos Muertos are but here’s some glammy grit in the casually tossed ‘La Danza de los Perdidos’ grenade.

Amoniaco is a sweet, restrained bubbly form of poppy post-punk, ‘Flowers In Autumn’ a genuinely gorgeous item. Justine’s could be thoughtful post-Industrial stirrings as ‘El Espejo de Juliette’ whirs slowly, with furtive female vocals peeling away from its trudging metronomic trudge. Ammen claim to be Industrial Metal and that makes sense in ‘Tengo Que Sufrir’ but amid the slicing guitar and choral synth backing there is some fine, diligently artistic male vocals and a sense of nonchalant grandeur. Classy. The Fallacy also seem to cavort beneath the Goth Metal banner but call themselves Goth. ‘Before We Leave’ has stunning keyboards and some triumphantly engaging vocals, so they should consider ditching the hackneyed guitar outbursts, or at least rein them in, because this is potentially a very interesting band.

Virgine Dramatica also have mouthwatering Goth promise if ‘In The Presence Of The Frost’ ids anything to go by, with a refreshingly simple but beautifully pushy rhythm track and dreamy vocals. Denébola then unwind slowly in some further delights, with the well warbled ‘Deserta’ even more rocky Goth gentility. Amora Morte is curiously stark and mannered Goth, with excellent vocals turning increasingly nasty in the curious ‘Castigo’ that melts itself away. Vodevil Vendetta do an older, dustier Goth variant, crafty guitar sawing away at its own skinny limbs while an abject vocal broom pushes ‘Vendetta’ off the cliff edge. Electronic pulses in Xianotic’s ‘This Abyss In Your Arms’ make for a nice false start as it’s actually well balanced Goth with dejected contents, delivered harmoniously and brought to a fine finish.

A great compilation, then, full of interesting songs, which should be what everyone wants and there’s going to be plenty more of this overt the next few weeks, so expect to find yourself some listening to some excellent new bands.