Thursday, 18th October 2018. 12:00:33pm ET
Reviews CD Reviews Gothic The Danse Society- Scarey Tales

Artist: The Danse Society

CD Title:  Scarey Tales

Label: Society Records

Genre: Gothic

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The Danse Society were a Gothic /new wave outfit from the UK. They were active from 1981 to 1986.Their original line-up was: Steve Rawlings (voice), Paul Nash (guitar), Lyndon Scarfe (keyboards) up to January 1985 then replaced by David Whittaker, Tim Wright (bass) and Paul Gilmartin (drums). In 1981 they released their first single "There Is No Shame In Death" on their own imprint Society Records. They released their debut album Seduction in 1982. Their second and most popular album, 'Heaven is Waiting', was released in 1984 on Arista. In 1986, they released their third and last record with the original line up that included charismatic lead vocalist Steve Rawlings.


Stephen Rawlings reappeared with a new band in 1987 simply called Society with one single; "Saturn Girl". Rawlings then continued on with the electronic act Meridian Dream.While the other band members toured as Johnny In The Clouds with new singer Mark Copson from Music For Pleasure but without releasing any more material before calling it a day.


In 2011, three of the original members Paul Nash , David Whittaker and Paul Gilmartin reformed with a new singer called Maethelyiah from Blooding Mask, in 2011. They released their first album in twenty five years, appropriately called Change of Skin. Though, Maethelyiah was not a man, nor was she long time vocalist Steve Rawlings,Maethelyiah brought something fresh and exciting to the long defunct Gothic trio. In 2012, they released the four song EP The Seduction 2012...Vatican . Which was remixed versions of three songs from "Change of Skin" and an update of the 80's Danse Society classic, "Seduction". In 2013, they released a six track album called Scarey Tales. I must admit that when I heard that Danse Society had a new album after all of these years, I was so excited. You can imagine my surprise when I heard Maethelyiah's voice instead of Steven's. At first I wanted to hate it, but after some research and a few listens, I was quite impressed with Maethelyiah's powerful, dark and haunting voice. She reminds me a bit of Siouxsie or Anne-Marie Hurst (Skeletal Family/Ghost Dance) on tracks like "The Wolf" and "Jekyll and Hyde".

Sometimes her voice also reminds me of goth favorites Xmal Deutschland. Though Danse Society's haunting guitars and otherworldly sound is still there for all intent and purpose, I cannot accept Danse Society without Steve. Now that being said, I wish that instead of reforming Danse Society with a female vocalist, they would have just started a brand new band. I think using the name Danse Society, that is too closely associated with the great Steve Rawlings, might hurt Danse Society more than help them. Scarey Tales sounds a bit rushed. It strongly pales in comparison to Change of Skin, which is much more methodical and professional. Scarey Tales sounds like a part of something that wasn't quite ready yet. Like a half of a whole or a teaser to a full length release.

Maethelyiah is once again in top form, except on the cover of "White Rabbit" by Grace Slick and Jefferson Airplane. I think her voice falls short and isn't as pleasant as most of her original material. "The Scarecrow" seems a bit peculiar with it's long dramatic spoken word intro. Quite honestly the only person who could ever get away with spoken word in the dark music realm is the amazing Anne Clark. Eventually "The Scarecrow" leads into a darker, more Gothic affair, that is enjoyable enough. Great songs like "Message In The Wind" reminds me of the classic Danse Society sound, and is probably the strongest track on this short album. If you are expecting any synthpop club anthems like Say It Again, you will be sorely disappointed.

Scarey Tales is pure goth through and through. Fans of the classic 80's Danse Society should really enjoy Scarey Tales, that is if they can get past not hearing Steve's unmistakable voice. Maethelyiah is really fantastic and dynamic. I just wish they would let sleeping dogs lie and not use the name Danse Society. Not everyone will be as forgiving as myself and give them a chance. I think a lot of diehard Danse Society fans will find fault with it simply because it is not the Danse Society they once knew and loved.

Once again, Scarey Tales in a nice little sampler, but it in no way stands up to their debut release with Maethelyiah, Change of Skin. I say, reunite with Steve for Danse Society and do a different project with Maethelyiah. Either way, I have my eyes and ears out for more Maethelyiah.


Though not listed on Amazon, there is a CD available. The CD is placed inside an illustrated softcover book, including lyrics, liner notes and credits. First 100 pre-ordered copies comes with one extra postcard (same size of book) signed by all members.


Listen to Danse Society


The Danse Society - Scarey Tales album taster


Buy Danse Society- Scarey Tales


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