Dark Sanctuary
Dark Sanctuary


4.0
excellent

Review

by Matthew D. French USER (50 Reviews)
January 12th, 2011 | 35 replies | 5,681 views


Release Date: 2010 | Tracklist

Review Summary: cold, cerebral music that entrances and leaves you breathless as Dame’s individualistic voice propels “Dark Sanctuary”, an album best left for those of us who enjoy deeply passionate music

8 of 8 thought this review was well written

It seems as though 2010 was a year dominated by commercial releases, so it’s no mystery as to why French neoclassical band Dark Sanctuary’s brooding self-titled album wasn’t met with much notice, if any at all. Dark Sanctuary occupy a space within the realm of darkwave, reinforcing beautiful songs with undertones of sorrow and introspective lyricism (for those of us who transcribe them). Dark Sanctuary is conquered by Dame Pandora’s angelic voice, which is often layered and fragmented to construct lush choral arrangements against melancholic music, creating a hauntingly beautiful contrast: most notably in how Dame’s calming voice blends in with the eerie keyboard loop in “Enfantement”. The band’s approach to music is somewhat minimalistic in that they achieve a lot without using much more than keyboard, piano, and violin. The drummer on Dark Sanctuary takes a backseat for the vast majority of the album. It’s not until the solemn “closer “Incomprise” that we’re graced with marching band-esque drum rolls, but Dark Sanctuary isn’t necessarily an album well-suited for a lot of drumming, so it makes sense. At its core, the album is indubitably a spiritual album - one that’s driven by atmosphere and vocal prowess. Dame’s vocals often overlap within songs, allowing her to duet with herself and add simple, yet effective elements, such as the occasional light-gestured whispers in “Fin de Vie”, or the silvery harmonization of “Sous les Neiges Eternelies”’ chorus. Such elements distract listeners from the fact that the actual music is substantially formulaic and frequently simple.

The latter half of the album in particular suffers because of this and is admittedly less compelling and enjoyable than the former half, losing vigor and vitality -- there’s simply an exceptional amount of content that falls short due to sounding too similar. Surprisingly, Dark Sanctuary manage to maintain a facade of diversity, but songs like “Le Tribunal” and “Le Chemin Vers la Delivrance” are far too down-trodden and restrained for their own good. However, there are still gems amid these lazier, droning tracks. “Lullaby” subtly employs a choir in the background of a beautiful gothic atmosphere, “Le Cachot” is inoffensively short and features a beautiful spoken poem, and sinister and seductive album closer “Incomprise” is one of the more distinguishable tracks. At the end of the day, it’s no surprise as to why Dark Sanctuary was languished and left to collect dust; as it stands, not many people are even aware that ‘darkwave’ is a genre. Dark Sanctuary may not be groundbreaking, or even essential to the genre for that matter, but it’s a more than adequate seventh (and final?) album from France’s beloved classical enthusiasts.



Recent reviews by this author
Sadistik Flowers For My FatherFoals Holy Fire
Lindstrom SmalhansFrank Ocean Channel Orange
The Antlers Burst ApartSoulsavers The Light The Dead See
user ratings (2)
Chart.
4
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
Gyromania
January 12th 2011



14647 Comments


Just wanted to get this out. I honestly took far too much time just staring at it, debating as to whether or not I should have added more detail or just deleted the whole thing entirely. At any rate, I wish more people would look into this band. Hope you all enjoy the review .

Dreamflight
January 12th 2011



1760 Comments


I have the "L'être las - L'envers du miroir", and from your description both albums share a lot of similarities. Some moments of "L'etre.." are really shivering, so maybe I should check this one out too.

Great review

Tyrael
January 12th 2011



20394 Comments


Finally a new Gyro review! You continue to amaze me, pos.

Digging: Lantlos - Melting Sun

Gyromania
January 12th 2011



14647 Comments


Thanks for the comments, guys.

Dreamflight: definitely check this out, you won't be disappointed,

Tyraelxy: You're far too kind, sir =]

Edit: I had to rush back on to my computer because for some reason the opening line was completely cut-off, but I added it,
so all is well now.

Ponton
Emeritus
January 12th 2011



5775 Comments


nice this looks def worth checking out

pos

Digging: Mimicking Birds - Mimicking Birds

Tyrael
January 12th 2011



20394 Comments


You have truly mastered the art of concise writing Gyro. Btw I have a question too. I wrote a negative
review of Converge's Jane Doe, is it a bad idea to post with all these Converge fanboys here?

BallsToTheWall
January 12th 2011



44164 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Somebody reviewed this wow. Awesome man.

Crisis
January 12th 2011



169 Comments


Neoclassical you say? Definitely going to be checking this out. Good review man.

Irving
Staff Reviewer
January 12th 2011



7011 Comments


Great review Gyro; well-weighted and well-delivered. Have a pos.

(PS - Your tracklisting doesn't appear to have numbers btw)

Gyromania
January 12th 2011



14647 Comments


Thanks everyone!

Tyraelxy: thanks a lot man. I say do it, who cares if people will disagree.

Balls: have you heard any of their other releases?

Crysis: yeah man, I think you'd really enjoy this.

Irving: thanks for pointing that out, bud, but I'm on my iPhone atm so I'll have to change that later.

HS: what? Is that a good or bad thing?

Crisis
January 12th 2011



169 Comments


The last good neoclassical release I've heard is Olafur Arnalds' latest album, which I head what seems like forever ago, so I'm due. I have a feeling like I've heard of this band before but none of their albums ring a bell. Think this would be the best album to begin with?

pizzamachine
January 12th 2011



12568 Comments


Well-written review is well-written haha.

Gyromania
January 12th 2011



14647 Comments


Crysis: yeah this is probably their most accessible and enjoyable album. I would start here and work my way backwards if I were you. Search "Sous les Neiges Eternelles" on YouTube and take a listen, it will give you a general understanding of what to expect.

Gyromania
January 12th 2011



14647 Comments


HSThomas: awesome! Glad to hear it, and thank you for the compliments.

Metalstyles
Staff Reviewer
January 12th 2011



8221 Comments


No matter how hard you said this was to write, this looks damn sexy, nice work man.

Digging: Metsatoll - Karjajuht

BallsToTheWall
January 12th 2011



44164 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Of course. Darkwave is my shit man.

Jethro42
January 12th 2011



12034 Comments


J'aime!!! Wow I've never heard of them before. Listening to some random excerpts from you tube, I'm really impressed. I'm surely gonna delve into their discog. Dead Can Dance is a very appropriate recommendation. Good review man.

Gyromania
January 12th 2011



14647 Comments


Magnus: thanks man =] Idk why this was so difficult to write, but I ended up having fun with it.

Jethro: I didn't know that you were a fan of Dead Can Dance, but that's great - more people should hear them. I'm glad to see that people are actually seeking this out now, makes me feel like I've done my part.

Jethro42
January 12th 2011



12034 Comments


I agree, Dead Can Dance needs A LOT more recognition. Spiritchaser is their only album I don't own. Their live 'Toward the Within' is by far the one I listen to the most.

Xenophanes
Emeritus
January 12th 2011



10553 Comments


Really cool review, bud. You've never steered me wrong before, so perhaps ill check this out...

Digging: Saintseneca - Dark Arc



You have to be logged in to post a comment. Login | Create a Profile





FAQ // STAFF & CONTRIBUTORS // SITE FORUM // CONTACT US

Bands: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z


Site Copyright 2005-2013 Sputnikmusic.com
All Album Reviews Displayed With Permission of Authors | Privacy Policy