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Gothica - The Cliff of Suicide

Gothica  -  CD Review
The Cliff of Suicide
CD Info
Cold Meat Industry
10 Tracks:
English/Latin/Italian/Spanish Lyrics

The sounds of Gothica would seem very much out of place on a July evening. Fortunately, the weather has taken on a different tone as I write this and the rain outside now fits perfectly with the music inside. This says a lot about Gothica’s sound. It needs a dark, introspective, sombre atmosphere. In the right surroundings, it fits perfectly. There is a niche in which it fits, but when it’s outside it, it sticks out like a tourist in a capital city.

The comparisons with Dead Can Dance are plentiful and I’d be surprised if Alessandra and Roberto don’t stop their ears every time someone attempts to define their sound. But there we have it, this is not metal, this is perfect ethereal Gothic that goes with the classical definition of the word, not the definition that 90% of other bands that jump on the Gothic bandwagon seem to carry. Listening to music like this makes you realise that the idea of ‘Gothic’ is now so twisted, so ridiculously convoluted, that it has had to become shamelessly redefined as anything which is dark and obscure enough not to sell in any other sphere of the music industry. Thankfully, Gothica regress us to the traditional definition of the word with their music, and in doing so create works of such beautifully dark classical-based music that it may not appeal to many fans of the genre. Ironic.

Gothica was formed in 1994 and has only ever had two core members – Alessandra Santovito and Roberto Del Vecchio. Since then they have collaborated with a number of musicians and the Cliff of Suicide is their second album, now on the label of kings, Cold Meat Industry ["for the music lover who can sit and enjoy the evolving sound of someone else’s nightmare"]. Alessandra sings with an operatic slant to her voice, which is soft and has a faraway feel when mixed in with the rest of the instrumentation, which more often than not is quite slow and dreamlike. As a result, the entire edifice is reminiscent of some dark reverie, and this is reflected in the lyrics: "from the rugged mountains down to the valley, amongst the fresh clouds which cross my body, the wind doesn't let me breathe and I dream of dying", or better still, "in your deep tomb, receive the young corpses of those who are tired of living, those who can't find consolation in the marvel of your sunsets." Gothica have freely admitted they have an obsession with death, moreover, a fascination to explore it and discover more about its mysteries, and this album is a perfect exemplar of that ‘interest’.

The Cliff Of Suicide is not the kind of album that will appeal to everyone who dips in and out of Gothic. It is for the more introspective, the more inquisitive, the darker minds who, dare I say it, appreciate the whole DCD/Love Spirals/Black Tape For A Blue Girl sound. Nor is it the kind of album that you can pick apart with too much success, sufficed to say that the progress from the opening sequence of Nel Buio to the closing beats of the beautiful Where The Lilies Fade is one natural fluid motion, and dissecting it would actually do it a disservice. This is music that needs time to be appreciated. Immersing yourself in the sounds Gothica create is the only way to appreciate their depth, otherwise the danger of it just washing over you is all too prominent. It is those that give this their continual attention that will be the most rewarded.