Mara's Torment--Across For Show, Dreams Like Mine
Baby BatBoy Productions/1998
Dark ambient cinematic instrumental work. A nice cross between Lycia styled gloom and Brian Eno's more rhythmic work. Manages to be calm while retaining eerie undercurrents. I was tempted in my usual manner to hear some nice vocals over the instrumentals, but much of this seems meant to stand on its own. I Can't help to think what amazing things this man could do with added vocals. Still, this is overall nice work. Great for those quiet, rainy days.
Palace of Worms Records/1998
Mellow gothic folk. The most obvious influences are Death in June (they even have the horns), Swans, and a bit of Dead Can Dance. Quite moving work with deep vocals, acoustic guitars, and dark lyrics. Very focused on religion, emotions, and the usual fun angst-ridden stuff. I'm rather fond of this subdued album, which carries a lot of drive, especially with the mixture of heavier guitars on some tracks. This is strong, mature work.
The epitomy of dirgecore: hard, slow, loud, and dark. This is worth buying for the artwork alone. This work will appeal to many heavy music fans, but may turn some off. It has plenty going for it with its harsh vocals, plodding drums, crackling guitars, and lovely keyboards hidden beneath the murk. I wish the production were a little better, but this is still a nice local effort.
poetry: William Kopecky, art: various
Beautiful collection of poetry and art. The work is simple and refined, with dark and surreal touches. The art for the most part is well-suited to the individual poems they illustrate. Each poem is full of lyrical treasures such as "you are a white gathering/of scarves/pirouetting/in december fields." Another great title from dead/asleep
For a copy, send $4 to Dead/Asleep Titles/c/o Lara Haynes/PO Box 442572/Lawrence, KS 66044
vol.1 no.3 Fall 1999