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Closterkeller - Graphite

Closterkeller -  CD Review

CD Info
Metal Mind Production
12 Tracks
Polish lyrics

OK people, you’re going to have to bear with me on this one. Reason. I do not speak, nor do I understand the Polish language, even though, I am half of that heritage, myself. Closterkeller is one of the oldest known female fronted bands from Poland. Having begun their career somewhere in the late eighties. As far as their album "Graphite", which is their latest endeavor, goes, I will only be able to tell you about, the music I hear and give you a perspective into the bands history. The lyrics don't mean a thing to me, for this review. It appears to be mid tempo Gothic rock with a bit of heaviness and radio pop thrown in, for good measure. I say pop because most of the 12 songs on this album have enough melody and catchy choruses to label it with. There are also some elements of techno in the music, enough to keep you wondering. All of Closterkeller albums in their discography, which is a rather long one in years, deal with colors. Yes, you read right. Colors. Beginning with the debut album, "Purple", way back in 1988, right down to this present day release. They have managed to cover some of the colors of the spectrum with their 6 full length albums culminating with a best of release, "Pastel", in 2001. So, for your knowledge, and for this review, it goes something like this in their 15-year career. "Purple"-1988, "Blue"-1991, "Violet"-1993, "Scarlet"-1995, Cyan-1996, "Graphite"-1999, "Pastel"-2001. There are also a couple of live releases and an EP to round it all out. Yes, a fine looking discography they have, and the band has stood the test of time over the years.

But, who are these Poles, who have graced us with this fine music over these years? Well I guess, for all of you female rock enthusiasts, we'll have to start with the lead singer, Anja Orthodox. Anja, has black hair. Not normal for a lead singer from Poland. But hair isn't really relevant for this review. I thought I would just throw that in, because most of what I'm use to from that country is, blonde. And you know whom I mean. Although the similarities in voice and style to that of Queen Medeah of "Artrosis", are undeniably present. I would think though, that Anja came first, and as a child, Medeah has listened to allot of Closterkeller records. Anja has quite the expressive and emotional voice to rival Mizz M. Her style is very much rock orientated, and very upbeat for this album. Their are some nice Goth ballads also, that she so is very convincing on. I could very well hear in her voice, where allot of female singers from Poland may have gotten their influence from. Ala Paulina of "Delight" or Maja of "Moonlight". There are even some similarities with Decoy's voice from "Fading Colours. Yes, as you have surmised, they are all cousins of sorts. Very much like one another. And the music is similar in style to all of the other Polish femme fronted bands. No, nothing groundbreaking, just some very good Polish Gothic Rock, which deserves to be heard.

The rest of the band, are male. Another similarity to all of the other Polish bands I've mentioned here. Michael Rollinger-Keyboards, Gerard Klawe- "the very young Drummer", Freddie-Guitar and Pucek-Bass. They are all very accomplished rock musicians and are fine back up to the heavenly vocals of Anja. For a track-by-track description of this album, would be as for the lyrics. I have trouble typing in Polish, also. All I will say here is, tracks 1, and 2 have very memorable choruses, and are in the Gothic rock vein. Tracks 5, 7 and 9 are mid tempo ballads. And tracks 10 and 11 are rocking tunes. Anyway, fans of all of the Polish bands I have mentioned for this review, will not be disappointed to discover "Closterkeller". They are definitely in a class with all of them, if not in the top 5. If you read and speak Polish, you can get a better insight into the band with the URL I have supplied in this review. There are also some very good videos and MP3's at the abbreviated English site. For new fans of the band, "Graphite" would be a perfect place to start, although, their "best of" album, "Pastel", would be an even better choice. It’s up to you.