CD title: Yomi
Label: Danse Macabre
Genre: EBM, Synthpop
Released: February 22, 2013
Rating: 3 out of 5
I'll be honest, I've never heard of Gothika, until this review. From the research I've done many fans and reviewers are saying that their latest release, Yomi, is a departure from their trademark sound. Personally I can't say how drastic of a change it is, but I can say Gothika has a sound that is very reminiscent of synth acts like Razed in Black, Melotron, and Culture Kultur. Hard hitting dance beats, and synth melodies that swell and swirl around vocal harmonies that just feel a bit off the mark.
For the most part, Yomi comes off as largely predictable synth-rock-ebm. Its good but nothing groundbreaking or even memorable for long term play. I would recommend this album to any DJs who have crowds that don't like to break from the normal Covenant/VNV/Combichrist/Faderhead play lists. New stuff that will keep the mood and flow going without upsetting the more finicky patrons. The album is almost entirely sung in Japanese which isn't surprising since the band is from Japan, but to my jaded ears, it was a nice change up from the off-key German snarling or ham-fisted English lyrics that I normally hear on this kind of release. Lead Singer, Andro's vocals don't have much range but like a lot of EBM in this style, the music work around them. The flat vocals mix with the gorgeous synths to create a bitter sweet effect that makes you stop and listen a bit more closely to what you're dancing to.
Gothika's latest endeavor doesn't have any stand out tracks. At least, nothing that jumped up from the pack for me. The upside to this is that as a DJ, it means I can use almost every song on the album in a set, and keep mixing up the songs in my regular rotations. The downside is that it means almost every track could be replaced by another and I often didn't notice when they ended or started. If I had to recommend some songs to interested listeners, “Brocken”, “The Gossamer Years”, and “Oxidiser” are good ones.
If you've been looking for some high quality club-fodder for your event or workout playlist, Yomi is the perfect album for you. I would like to give it higher praise than I have but after several listens I can only say that Yomi is a wonderful album that missed its mark by a few years. If it had come out back in 2004 or 2005, I think it would have been a celebrated must play CD. However based on how EBM has evolved and regressed throughout the years, Yomi comes across as a well-formed tribute to the halcyon days of when Cyber-goth was king of the club scene.
Take a listen: Yomi
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