Published on Saturday, 31 August 2013 20:03
Album title: The Dark [EP]
Release date: 13 September 2013
01. The Blood Runs Cold
02. A Heartbeat Away
03. Things I Do At Night
04. Dead Inside
I remember writting those words when reviewing the debut album ...Turn The Gold To Chrome... from Swedish duo Brotherhood: "If this is the future for gothic rock, then, where do I sign?" (read the review HERE). And the two Sweds prome me right, actualy more than that as the two with this EP achived even more organic sound, even more darker and soul provoking melodies. If Brotherhood will continue this way they'll achive the status of one of the darkest acts in gothic rock. Yes, their musical output is highly influenced by 80s goth brigade, but at the same time this EP happens to be more bold than the predecessor regarding the originality, which is in all honesty hard to achieve, as the gothic rock genre it's a difficult one to be widen more than it is already. While most of the bands stick to the well approved formula from golden 80s that is sealed by well known giants from that era, Brotherhood this time are not afraid to go their own way, with surprisingly still keeping that vintage smell.
The Dark is a strong title and it goes without saying that with it the duo has given to themselves a heavy burden. After a look at the marvelous gloomy cover artwork, there's the EP opener "The Blood Runs Cold", one of the best gothic creations that I've heard in a while. Strong drum beats that open it, with a sorrowful guitar in the background and soon there comes their trademark heavy bass lines with lots of reverb. I can't help but noticing a subtle similarity in the atmosphere to darkest things that Moonspell did in their late 90s or early 2000. There is romance, melancholy, blood and power in this tune.
Everything is a bit more slow paced than on their debut album, with the exception of rather out-paced and upbeat rhytms in typical goth rock tune "A Heartbeat Away", but the sound seems to be even reacher, guitar riffs bring a lot of nostalgia, not to mention amazing vocal job, that happen to be more dynamic than on their debut, just listen to before mentioned opener and you'll get it. It's interesting that they don't use typical deep baritone goth vocals, but somehow emotional, still very deep, matured and velvet kind of it. "Things I Do At Night" is one hell of diabolic and psychotic tune with hypnotic vibe and interesting message. The last track "Dead Inside" continues with this dark ambiance, yet there Brotherhood add very efective piano touches that deepens already intense atmosphere, which is evolving while the track develops further. It's more than welcome that the two have lowered the use of electronics and used them only where it was really needed, still never in front. Also pop elements that made some tracks in the past a bit more danceable and rhytmic are not present anymore. There is kind of epic feeling in the tracks, everything flows very nicely, song structures are compact.
With great and very deep production, well written melancholic lyrics, intersected with huge amount of sadness and everything that is needed, I can only say that The Dark EP is a masterpiece. Maybe it won't appeal to those gothic rock and post-punk fans who need rich and sparkly rhytms to move their feets on the dancefloor, but to those who want to see this genre expanding. The Dark is maybe one of the signs that not everything was done in the past and I can only strongly suggest this one to all desperate and dark souls out there. Maybe those twenty minutes of music on this release are not that much, but yet show that Brotherhood are not just a passing fancy (btw..., you can listen to the whole EP at this location).
Review written by: T.V.