Remain in Silence – …And The Soul Goes On

Remain in Silence
…And The Soul Goes On
Released 18th March 2016
Wave Wave/Dark Wave/Goth Rock
Released via M.I.G Music GmbH

‘…And The Soul Goes On’ is the long-awaited new album from the dark wave pioneers Remain in Silence. The band was originally formed back in the mid 1980s and they were amongst the first bands in the German dark wave scene.

My knowledge of dark wave is very limited. I’ve seen a handful of dark wave bands at Lumous Gothic Festival, but other than that my only experience with the genre are a few songs by The Cure along with the early albums by Lacrimosa, The Crüxshadows and Blutengel, which is often classed as synth-pop rather than dark wave. All of these have certain characteristics in common: the dark, Gothic atmosphere, melancholic tones and emotionally profound lyrics. Remain in Silence is no exception to this and they fit the genre description very well.

In many ways, if melancholic and melodic Goth music is your thing, then this is the album for you. While I have no problem with the gloomy atmosphere, I did have some issues with the slow pace of the songs. Let’s just say that I like my Goth music to be one of the three options: more dance/synth-pop -like (an example could be Blutengel), the catchy Goth rock variety akin to the likes of Two Witches or symphonic/orchestral Goth rock style of modern Lacrimosa. This album has only a handful moments like this, most notably the catchy, electro pop track Wrapped in Ice which is one of the few songs on here that I could actually dance to. Another one is the new edition of an old Remain in Silence classic, Hope in Fear in which the guitar tunes have a bizarrely pleasant and uplifting vibe to them despite the overall depressing tone of the vocals. Then finally there’s the eerie yet beautiful instrumental Endless Sea, which is the perfect track to end the album, summing up the dark atmosphere that was present throughout.

Technically speaking there is nothing really wrong with this album. It’s clearly well written and executed by highly experienced and skilled musicians. Yet despite this I struggled to get through it and really focus on the songs. Even for some who enjoys Gothic atmospheres and the odd bit of melancholic rock or electro, this was an album that was just too slow and ponderous for my liking.

Iza Raittila

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