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Dying Passion - Transient

Dying Passion - CD Review

Dying Passion - Transient



CD Info:
Epidemie Records
14 tracks
English lyrics


It’s a little difficult to define the music from this Czech band; it’s not traditional Gothic, it’s not traditional metal, it’s not traditional symphonic metal. On the other hand, it has elements of all of those. With this release, and this is their 7th full release, people seem to be referring to them as “progressive” which is probably not something you expect to hear from their part of the world. But, I’ve been familiar with them for a long time, even have a tee-shirt from their first release Secretly, released in 2000. And it’s a good one, both the release and the shirt, I’ve gotten lots of compliments on the shirt, or maybe I just look good in it. But I’ve been wanting to do something with the band for a long time, their music is interesting although I’ve never had a full release up till now, just individual tracks from different releases. I have listened to tracks from previous releases however and, it seems the band does make an effort to alter styles over different releases. Not that I’m suggesting, as others do, that changing styles is an absolute necessity. But, this release is certainly different than what you got with Secretly. Why, well, that’s hard to describe unless we look at a bunch of stuff from previous releases which would sure make this a “War and Peace” review. And, I’d like to focus on other things. Of course, there is the music. And this music is somewhat different from the symphonic, operatic Gothic I generally prefer. Vocalist Zuzana “Zuza” Lipova is anything but the classical looking Gothic vocalist. She’s more Lou from Louna / Traktor Bowling in Moscow in the looks department. But, the vocals are completely different. Hard to describe, no operatic, not really rock oriented either, something else. And with each individual track she sounds a little different. At first you get the feeling that it’s a marginal vocal. But, as the tracks roll on, and there’s a lot of them, you come to the realization that the girl just has a broad range of delivery styles and, when she wants to, she has a tremendously effective voice. And that’s a good thing because the rest of the band is really good, it would be a shame to waste that sound with a marginal vocal.

The second thing I want to comment on substantially is the lyrical component. These are Czechs, you understand. But, the lyrics are some of the best I’ve ever heard. I refused to do the review without them, they’re just too solid to ignore. And, interestingly enough, they’re pretty easy to understand for English speakers, not something you always get with Eastern European bands. I have no idea how they’re pulling that off. But dark Gothic, oh yea. More than you could possibly imagine.

The release begins with a monolog, pretty much done in “American” English. It’s called Prologue and it’s done over a relatively haunting symphonic background. The speaker tells us life is about decisions and, if you want to enjoy life, “to hell with the consequences”.

From here we move to a variety of tracks that talk to the issues of life, the certainty of death and the confusion of everything in between. The music seems to attempt to capture as many of the emotions involved in that discussion as possible. Ordinary is the second track, and it’s somewhat ordinary, nice but no attempt to make a profound statement. It’s what life is for the most part, what we face in our everyday lives, generally pleasant but, in the final analysis, ordinary.

Highlight begins to take us to a more lively interpretation of the concept of life, lots more symphonies and a much harder metal component. And Zuza begins to crank it up a little, dragging us screaming and yelling into the more intense understanding of life:

The game that has begun / It´s for you to control
All around is so much fun / Keep calm until you dive into another life
It's easy now to enjoy the moment

But life has dark moments ahead for us, the path is never easy, the rocks and thorns always there to overcome. But, dark as they can be, they often provide a beauty to our lives, even if we can’t see it at the moment. A Different Perspective takes us back to that softer look at life but warns that the road is heading towards a dark destination:

You feel full of will to live / The world looks just so simple
Be the one you wanted to be / And forget all that painful moments
When you realize / That you are going straight to damnation

Collapse Within takes us to places where those decisions have left us in the darker pits of life. Guitars seem to pound a darker refrain here, they remind us that life can compress, that certain decisions lead to hard results. Zuza screams on this one, she reminds us that we have moments to face that will not be enjoyable:

Wide circles narrowed collapsed and disappeared / bridges were burned, and you were left here
Your wings have fallen apart / now you cannot fly to the other side
There’s no hand which can pull you out / and save you, you are losing without a fight

The release continues with a further exploration of the trials and pitfalls of life. The music captures these directions with a variety of musical vehicles, the vocals plead, pray, condemn, and warn us of the outcomes that can come from the folly of our decisions. The band seems to have given thought to how to express these thoughts musically, this is well developed material. Erratic talks about the loss of perspective, the lack of control that we all face at times. What is it that leads to these moments of desperation:

You ramble through the streets / Like a sewer rat
Like an erratic ghost / You're a broken being
No one knows what you see / Things that are not real
Your beloved friends / They're talking and talking

Enlightenment attempts to put all in perspective. It spares no horror. Life is the prelude to death, all our hopes and dreams, all our aspirations, all our goals and accomplishments are just a prelude to a dark silent grave. Was the effort meaningful? What did our efforts accomplish, will we be remembered past the few artifacts that we leave for an unfeeling world. The track is dark, eternity is darker, this one speaks from the grave:

A moment of a morning sunrise you will never see again / It’s your sad destiny
you had your chance like anybody else / Where did you make a mistake?
You know it well but you never chose the right way / Day by day
Many times you were down / One day you must stay on the ground where you belong

You've become a part of the other side / There is no return
Dead can't come alive / It's too late to cry
To think what you have done / And now it’s all gone

The release closes this lifespan with Epilogue. And it asks questions that will only make sense once the trip is over. Questions that can never be answered in a lifetime:

Is it wrong that you want more? / Maybe you had it all along.
You just couldn't see it.

Well, if you treasure the Gothic, it’s hard to get past this one. The music captures all we could want, unless you need ed Tarja doing the vocals. But, these vocals address the variety of topics the release addresses, and they mesh well with the instrumental material. Eastern European music has much to provide, Dying Passion has been proving that for a long time.