Published on Sunday, 12 May 2013 22:21
Band: The Razor Skyline
Album title: Dark Water Oasis
Release date: 14 August 2012
Label: COP International
03. We The People
04. View Of Paradise
06. This City Never Sleeps (Eurythmics cover)
07. Grey Skies
08. Silent And Smiling
09. Dark Water
10. The Longest Night Of The Year (bonus track)
After nine years long period of silence there comes the new, fourth album of San Francisco (USA) based electro-goth band The Razor Skyline. Now, with a renewed line-up, the band made really an impressive comeback with Dark Water Oasis. The ethereal vocals of former vocalist Karen Kardell are substituted by also charming, but much more deep and direct vocals of bands new singer Miska Kazda. Beside Miska, the new line-up sees percussionist SooozhyQ and keyboardist Zo. The only remaining long-term members are founder the_gun and Onyx behind electronic percussions. So, if the band went a bit overlooked so far, although beign almost 20 years on the scene, I believe that with this new album they have a chance to establish their name much more within gothic musical corners.
There are many new things in their music since their last studio album. The range of sounds and influences is wider than ever before and the band left behind the description of beign just an electro-gothic band. This time The Razor Skyline inserts wisely eastern tribal percussions, a lot more of 80's pop influences, some heavy guitar riffs, which they marvelously combine with their trademark sound that already consisted with lots of danceable pop rhytms, new wave and industrial influenced music, everything wrapped into an exqusite electro-gothic sounding output. I can't go past but noticing some Faith And The Muse and even Dead Can Dance tendencies.
The songs on the album can be easily divided into mellow ones and those where the band went on experimenting with atmospheric sounds. In the first group I would put more uplifting tracks, like the opener and in my opinion the weakest link up here "Vittoria", then of course great "Sahara" with a great chorus and beautiful vocal performance. Also next couple of songs provide the similar pace and drive, but I must point out "View Of Paradise" with massive guitar sound and somehow gloomy ambiance. "The City Never Sleeps", the cover of Eurythmics, originally featured on album Sweet Dreams (Are Made Of This) from 1982 on the other hand is a great representative of second group, with almost hypnotic, slow paced tempo and terrific guitar lead in the background. Not to mention how nicely those tribal beats lead the song, together with interesting synths.
The real highlights in my opinion come with the 80's pop influenced "Grey Skies", catchy and captivating melody, together with beautiful vocals and swelling song structure must give joy to all who loved ballads from three decades ago. I must dig up also almost doomy album title song "Dark Water Oasis" and great mixture of electronics, strong heavy guitar, pounding bass, absolutely fantastic spacey keys and bewitching atmosphere and cool guitar lead versus the end. Those lucky who'll get the edition with bonus will enjoy Christmas jewel "The Longest Night Of The Year", yeah right, a song for Christmas times, with meaningful lyrics.
Try not to overlook the lyrics, as the band is trying to write very inteligent, clever and thoughtful lines that accompany the music, "We the people, are we free/What sold ourselves to the bureaucracy"... Also crystal clear production, beside the great final mix is certainly a plus, it was done by Jon Klein (Specimen/Siouxsie And The Banshees). The album artwork on the other hand is kinda simple, and although is eerie could be better and done in a way to visualize the music. In a way I can't get rid of the felling that The Razor Skyline could do even better, more significant and stronger songs. Nevertheless, great atempt and I hope not to wait another nine years for the next album from The Razor Skyline.
Review written by: T.V.