Sunday, 21st January 2018. 7:59:20am ET
Reviews CD Reviews Gothic Ghost Parade- Dying Breed


  Artist: Ghost Parade
CD Title: Dying Breed
Label: self-released
Reviewer: Joshua Heinrich
Date: 5/24/04

Dark, brooding, and sounding way more British than any band from Portland has any right to be, Ghost Parade are here to carry the flag for the Bowie-influenced romantic goth rock resurrected in the 90s by bands like The Prophetess, Corpus Delicti, and The Last Dance on their full length debut, Dying Breed. Sporting deep, Peter Murphy-esque vocals, singer Autumn (yes, that's MALE vocalist Autumn) leads the way through a maze of moody, theatrical guitar-driven rock ranging from intimate, plodding numbers built around acoustic rhythm guitar to up-tempo distortion-filled post-punk tracks. Autumn's vocals are strong enough that they could probably carry the band even if the guitars were, heaven forbid, replaced with accordions. Luckily, though, he doesn't have to as the band's rhythm guitar foundation, swirling feedback, melodic lead guitar work, underlying keyboard accents, and drum anchor combine to create what is arguably the perfect blend to accompany Autumn's deep vocal delivery whether it's on an all-out goth rock track or a stripped-down, more intimate offering.

From the moody opening synth-based "Drift" to more straightforward angsty rock numbers like "Killing Sara" and "Fixed" to lighter acoustic guitar based offerings like the piano-accented "Lie to Me" and the excellent "Love Song" (not a Cure cover but sonically pretty close), it's just an excellent goth rock album with great melodies and strong, organic production. Autumn even goes for broke with the dreaded spoken word sound collage, a bold move that can make or break a band, on "Poem" and manages to nail it perfectly. If that's not enough, the band even had the balls to attempt and successfully pull off a cover of Neil Diamond's "Love on the Rocks". Yes, that's right, I said Neil Diamond. The album is topped off with a slow, acoustic guitar based reworking of "Fixed" and an extended version of "Love Song", both of which are as good as just about anything else on the album.

Ghost Parade's Dying Breed is a refreshingly organic and unusually strong romantic goth rock album, a small boat amidst a sea overflowing with electronic-oriented darkwave/industrial offerings and overproduced modern alterna-goth. It's a killer album, not because of over-polished fancy production or technically intricate songwriting, but because it has heart and captures that rare, unclassifiable emotional essence that has defined some of the best romantic goth albums of the last two decades.

 

Ghost Parade website: www.ghostparade.com

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