Published on Sunday, 22 June 2014 21:44
Album title: Grimorium
Release date: 31 May 2014
Label: Swiss Dark Nights
01. Birth - Procession - Lemegeton
02. Ars Nova
03. Solve et Coagula
04. The Covenant
05. The Bless
07. The Absolute
08. The Deep
10. Last Page
11. Procession - Terramortis Mix
12. Ars Nova - Terramortis Mix
13. Lemegeton - Terramortis Mix
Yabanci are finally here with their debut album. This Italo/Swiss band was born in 2011 and since then released one EP entitled Birth (all the songs are also featured on this album). Yes, with that release, even if it was printed just in 200 copies this band gained quite a reputation in the gothic rock corners, so it's no secret that Grimorium was one of the most expected albums this year by many true gothic rock followers. The core of the band consist of vocalist LadyGhost and guitarist Valerio, who are the only two from the original line-up. Now the line up consists also of Emiliana behind keys and bassist Lupo. This band has a lot to offer and this is shown on Grimorium, it's a very fresh and consistent album.
Ten featured tracks are all based on uplifting momentum, yet showing a huge dose of interesting ideas. Everything starts with almost ten minutes long triptych, a puzzle of three connected tracks "Birth", "Procession" and "Lemegeton", which invites us into this obscure, occultistic sonic invasion. It's pretty obvious about which matters the lyrics are about, just read the song titles and you'll get the idea. So, from this side nothing really new as most of goth rockers are very much into occultistic themes these days. The real power of Yabanci lies in the sole music. The overall atmosphere is dark and if I try to describe what I hear I would say that it's a blend of not so traditional gothic rock, some post-punk and death rock. LadyGhost delivers a very powerful vocal performance and most of the tracks are centered around hers haunting and almost hypnotic voice. Vocals that have some similarities with Siouxsie Sioux or even with Rosetta Garri from The Spiritual Bat, are a bit deeper, I can say even darker, maybe even more emotional and are almost perfect for what Yabanci offers on instrumental side. Than those sparkling guitars all over the songs blend so well together with strong punkish bass lines and very well controled pounding drums. The backdrop drawn by gloomy goth synths is a marvelous final touch in this musical spectrum. Yabanci created a dense and very obscure atmosphere, sometimes almost suffocating and psychedelic. Many songs have very nice crescendos and with catchy melodic lines Yabanci can easily drown the listener into this alchemic, very hypnotizing world. Just listen for example to extraordinary "The Covenant" or bass driven "The Bless". Then vocally very strong "Fear", or flourishing "Ars Nova". There's no time to take a breath between the songs as it's almost impossible to press the stop button once you're overtaken by the hard hitting invasive and addictive soundscapes with a nicely flowing drive.
The fact of originality could be discussed. I think that Yabanci deserve a credit for that, even though there are heard influences from old school bands like early era Fields Of The Nephilim, Bauhaus, Christian Death and before mentioned Siouxie And The Banshees. There's some punk-rock attitude hiden and I'm surprised about the technical ability of the involved musicians. So, all these facts give a very refreshing output. A bit blurred and unpolished production gives a favour to the band this time as I can't imagine those songs with a clear one. One thing after all I can't understand..., what's the purpose of those three remixes? Neither they are good, don't offer anything new and in my opinion ruin the overall good picture. Yeah, I know, you can easily skip them.
Review written by: T.V.