Monday, 22nd January 2018. 9:11:14pm ET
Reviews CD Reviews Alternative, Indie Rock Adrian James- Das Gift


ARTIST: Adrian James
ALBUM: Das Gift
LABEL: Self-released
REVIEWER: Matthew J.
DATE: 10-27-07

Das Gift

Adrian James got his musical start as Evanescence's violinist, but his solo debut doesn't have much in common with the bombastic goth-metal of that particular outfit. This is more like a darker, goth-tinged version of early Peter Gabriel, progressive but catchy enough to attract a broad range of fans. Where Gabriel incorporated African elements, though, James brings in a more classical sensibility; the only tribal stuff here comes from the pounding drums on title track "Das Gift," and even that's less like world music than old-fashioned goth rock intensity, in the vein of early Southern Death Cult or Siouxsie and The Banshees. While the brooding German-language "Ich Frage Mich" and heartfelt ballad "Killing Jar" point to James's talent at simple but effective rock arrangements and addictive lyrical hooks, the progressive and classical elements are plain to see; for one thing, the first eight tracks on this album segue so smoothly that they might as well be one long, complex piece. Then there's "Perfect Song," with its moody organs and Pink Floyd-inspired guitar work, and the fact that it's reprised as a piano ballad later in the album. James saves himself from self-indulgent prog-rock noodling, however, by using similar motifs in different ways throughout the album. The core of his arrangements, usually built around organs, violins and electric guitar, with the occasional burst of heavy-duty drums or Medieval church bells for added intensity, give this album a coherent feel that keeps it from meandering into technical displays of James's abundant musical talents. James has managed to create an album that's melancholy and emotive enough for goths but conceptual enough to appeal to progressive rock and pop fans, as well.

Get more information at www.dasgift.com.


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