Songs Of Terror
~reviewed by Mick Mercer
Tony Lestat’s sleeve notes say, ‘Poe’s roots run deep into the soul of this dark adventure that we call the gothic world’ and with an album where songs are reputedly chosen for their relevance to certain indicated works by Poe I was expecting a certain mood, but that didn’t really happen.
What you get are tracks that stand out quite easily. Midnight Configuration’s ‘Decline And Fall’ with its light guitar razors scraped across grumpy synth stubble is one of these and Trev’s slightly pantomime vocals can’t distract from a beautifully turned tune. Desmo Donte brings fruity, hesitant vocals in a classical Goth tone to ‘Nevermore’, with a great chorus and you can sing along lustily it’s so good and Wreckage ‘s own ‘Come The Night’ is pleasantly juicy with a concise clean feel strangely reminiscent of Heave 17’s ‘Come Live With Me’
Elsewhere, Stone 588 are consistently impressive throughout ‘Momento Mori’ with a wounded rock feel and fluttering vocals that emanate intensity, as and Faith And The Muse dripping musical poison of a Brecht/Brel school of thought with ‘Through The Pale Door‘ which is exquisitely constructed.
The rest are all good, but fairly predictable. Immortalis Amor have particularly high quality vocals over a routine tune, Kommunity FK create deliciously demented vocals, Stun Gun have a wonderfully imaginative mix of styles, and Jennifer Hope’s conventional lament style is winsome. Cinemas Strange do a fine guitar tattoo over busy yelping and Cruciform are reliably springy but Fear Cult, Trance To The Sun and Ex-Voto are all fairly mundane.
As a representation of Poe I was disappointed that not one single track went for a slow stark approach, conveying an atmosphere of dread, as all got rather excitable and dramatic. On the upside, as a compilation to be judged against others this is far better than most with some very distinctive contributions.