Review Summary: You sink your teeth in.
Bite the blood that drains the life inside of me and fills your soul with love and hate and all those things you need to breathe. ...I'm kidding of course.
In the latest of my musical binges i've been jamming hard to the modern death-rock scene. A wide assortment of bands like Dekoder, Funeral Parade, Cemetery and Moral Hex are cropping up and kicking my ass with their brooding, hard edged sound. What is death rock you say? It's basically an amalgamation of old school goth rock and post punk with aggressive tempos, murky production values, mournful vocals and eerie melodies shaping the core sound. Bands like Christian Death, The Death Eaters, Rudimentary Peni and the Misfits helped formulate this melancholic strain of punk rock by extensively emphasizing theatrical imagery and lyricism in addition to wailing vocals and creepy B movie atmospherics. There's a certain level of campiness to be said of this offshoot but that's part of it's charm.
Scarlet Crimson is a relatively new band to the fold, with their two track 7 inch "Sanctuary" dropping last September being their only official release. At least to my knowledge this is their only release. Anyways, "Sanctuary" is a modern take on the classic death-rock sound while staying true to the principles of their predecessors. The title track opens the recording with a bang as you are assaulted with ominous riffage and a malevolent lead guitar melody. The vocals soon enter with the driving rhythm section keeping a steady hand of things. Somewhat hidden behind the polished production and the brash instrumentation, the singers voice and lyrics are quite obscured. That's not to take anything from the individual performance because her tone and her ghostly singing adds dimension to the music. The vocals are edgy and atmospheric, channeling the best of Siouxsie Sioux. The second song "Two Kinds of Red" follows a similar format to the first. Loud percussion, buzzing bass-lines and mid tempo riffs carry the vocals into new heights.
The production is a lot less murky than much of the other bands from this spectrum that I enjoy. However, the polish doesn't detract from the sound or the atmosphere. If anything it makes Scarlet Crimson sound like a fresh, modern take on a classic sound rather than a sleazy retread from 1981. The songwriting is simple, catchy and engaging so anyone wanting to hear this should have no problems getting into it . All in all, this is a pretty cool release from a band that i'm expecting big things from in the future. Shout out to V for linking me to this righteous group.