This release from 2003 offers 54 minutes of the modern Goth bands found on the Projekt label. Two tracks (*) are exclusive to this sampler. Not all Goth music is abrasive--some of this reclusive genre is dedicated to a more pure ethereal demeanor. This sampler offers an intimate listen to some of the more adventurous bands pursuing this eerie sonic disposition. Android Lust: Romantic female vocals croon over grinding synth-beats, a ghostly chorus, and determined drums. High commercial appeal. Audra: Sepulchral male vocals growl along with steady percussion and warped-but-sprightly background keyboards. A subdued blend of Nine Inch Nails and Sisters of Mercy. Lycia: Sultry mix of dense melody and whispered lyrics in a pool of heavenly cloudbanks. Black Tape for a Blue Girl: Rich male vocal accompanied by melancholy organ and piano that gives way to auxiliary keyboards and romantic acoustic guitar. An engaging take on overwhelming gloom. Gives Tuxedomoon a run for the money. * Voltaire: There are two tracks by this band: one album track (Goth rockabilly with strong violin and cello and cafe drumming while the singer begs for a diet of "brains." Taken from the Cartoon Network's "Grim and Evil".), and one previously unreleased (More classically modeled piece that resembles an electrified Celtic bedtime story about demon slaying.). Unto Ashes: Bewitching vocals and quasi-chamber music evoke dark caves and bubbling caldrons. * Attrition: Forlorn violin, female vocal gymnastics, and evolving rhythm boxing provide a foundation for harsh male utterances. Bleak: Clusters of insistent percussion and a snakepit of electronics produce a tasty instrumental piece in praise of emotional futility. A glimpse of subliminal vocals emerge before the zenith guitar outburst. Lowsunday: A soft, almost folksy piece using traditional guitar/bass/drums/vocals to achieve a hypnotic ascension to a crashing more-electronic pinnacle of raw passion. Mira: Pleasant female vocals with rock ensemble that moves from understated to intense melodic performance. Mors Syphilitica: Sensuous blend of female vocals and lilting guitar highlight this homage to longing. Love Spirals Downwards: Sky-scraping guitar and powerful female vocals produce an elegant passage of brutal intensity. Imagine a more-haunting take on the Cure.
It is no secret that Gothic music has been around for a good number of years, having started as a dark movement that branched off of the punk side of the family tree sometime in the late 70s. Bands like Alien Sex Fiend, Bauhaus, Siouxsie and the Banshees and Joy Division surfaced, each unique in many ways, yet something rooted these artists together. These bands would become icons of the genre. However, time and technology changed right along with society, and in the course of time, so did the sound of Gothic music. Today, the genre has splintered into many subcategories that are often hard to pinpoint with any defined accuracy- regardless of the many times we attempt to develop words to describe the course of the genre's evolution. Projekt's The New Face of Goth seeks to give an audible representation of how the genre has blossomed in today's time.
The New Face of Goth introduces itself with Android Lust's "Stained (Video Edit)". This track seems to represent where a majority of the genre has shifted, presenting the tormented lyrics from a troubled soul alongside electronics that are both unsettling with classical touches and more traditional instrumentation. The result is music with an impact, rich with sound and emotion. Aside from this, it shows a new turn the female position is taking in the Gothic genre. Typically, people expect a female voice to be soft and crystalline. Android Lust is a rare discovery in that Shikhee presents creeping and sometimes harsh lyrics in her voice that is as equally disturbing. I, along with a large number of reviewers, have considered Android Lust the female equivalent of Trent Reznor and Nine Inch Nails. Shikhee has a style and presence that is incredible, sometimes overwhelming, yet remarkable in its distinctiveness.
(snip -- read the whole review at the link above)
Of course, the album has to close with a lullaby to go with the flow, right? What better way to close this release than with Voltaire? "Goodnight, Demon Slayer" is an acoustic number with the trademark violin and guitar. Voltaire sings an oddly happy song from the perspective of a parent trying to get a child to go to sleep who is afraid of monsters under the bed. Instilling an air of confidence the song tells the child ways to outsmart and defeat the monsters himself. While not Voltaire's typical comedic fair, it is unusually sweet as it still raises a smile. Goths with kids should play this one for their little demon slayers. Family friendly Goth, who would have thought?
From family fare to booming melancholy, The New Face of Goth covers it all. This disc is not only a fair and accurate exploration of Goth in its different forms, but also that of where Projekt has gone as a label over the years. Beginning as a label for releasing Black Tape for a Blue Girl material, it has grown exponentially to embrace a breadth of talent that has defined Projekt as more than a label, but a sound of its own.