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Beseech - My Darkness, Darkness

My Darkness, Darkness
by Paul Carr at 15 October 2016, 9:35 AM

Melancholic Goth rockers BESEECH return with their customary mix of doom laden rock with a Scandinavian twist. This is their first album since 2005’s “Sunless Days” and there have been a few notable changes to their line-up. They now have a new bass player, drummer and most notably a new female vocalist. However, they still manage to produce the same lush and all-embracing sound that lingers in the darkness. Opener “Beating Pulse” mixes electronic and organic instrumentation with vocals from new singer Angelina Sahlgren Söder used to startlingly effect. She and main man Klas Bohlin plead with each other like star crossed lovers in a gothic tragedy. It’s a tense and vulnerable start that manages to avoid the trap of sounding too cliché. “Bloodline Fever” begins with dense, distorted guitar before retreating back to a lush, moody soundscape. As before the band excel when Angelina is given space to shine through the shadows. Sadly this all too soon becomes their modus operandi. A heavy opening of doomy guitars soon gives way to a slow, gothic middle section. The formula wears thin after a while despite the later attempts at variation on certain songs.

“Mr Uninvited” adds guitars that could have come straight from The Cure’s classic “Seventeen Seconds”. The po-faced titled “My Darkness” evokes the majestic, widescreen western themes of Ennio Morricone. It’s an interesting deviation from their usual formula. Nevertheless, it is let down by under produced heavy guitars that come across as thin and reedy.  In keeping with the band’s preoccupation with death some of the songs sound like they could do with resuscitating. Too many of the songs are unforgettable and seem to wallow in their own self-importance. The major problem is Klas Bohlin’s vocal delivery. While he aims for the cavernous gravitas of Goth metal great Pete Steele, he never quite reaches those highs (or lows). It is only when his vocals are entwined with those of Angelina Sahlgren Söder that the songs really go anywhere. The exception is “Highwayman” where he suddenly comes out of his mournful hibernation and brings the song to life. In addition, the lyrics often come across as over earnest and humourless. It’s unfair to compare them to TYPE O NEGATIVE but their lyrics were always slightly tongue in cheek like Pete Steele was gently mocking the typical Goth clichés. Overall, this is a little bit of a disappointment. All too often they exhibit a slavish devotion to the standard Goth formula. When they do deviate and, especially when they employ the gentle yet gorgeous melodies of Angelina Sahlgren Söder, they ably demonstrate what they are capable of. Hopefully, this is the first step towards a more varied and accomplished sound.

Songwriting: 7
Originality: 6
Memorability: 6
Production: 6

3 Star Rating

1. Beating Pulse
2. The Shimmering
3. Bloodline Fever
4. Mr. Uninvited
5. My Darkness, Darkness
6. Atmosphere
7. Highwayman
8. The Ingredients
9. One Last Call
10. Darksome
11. The Symbol
Klas Bohlin  - Vocals
Angelina Sahlgren Söder  - Vocals
Robert Vintervind  - Guitar
Manne Engström  - Guitar
Johan Örnborg  - Bass
Håkan Carlsson - Drums
Record Label: Despotz Records


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