Current Band Line-up:
Kevyn Douglas Hay - vox & rhythm guitar
Mr. Battrick - drums
Michael Draper - bass guitar
Fritter - keys & percussion
Pete Guzzardi - lead guitar
Christopher Robin - key & electronic percussion
Mark Blewett - sound engineer
Oregon based band Written In Ashes expounds upon the next wave of gothic music with their latest release Epiphany. The immediate thing to catch the listener's ear is the fact that the vocals are not done in the usual deep booming tones with every song that one associates with similar gothic rock music. This may cause some whiplash to those individuals who remain in a time warp reverie listening to a multitude of bands who sound the same with every release. Kevyn, the lead vocalist, has a strong tenor voice and is not afraid to push it to the limit. The band obligingly accompanies the vocals, turns the chords up an octave or two and delivers a bevy of tracks that cross the boundaries from gothic metal, shoegazer to gothic/new wave crossover. The band does excel best with the more lively fair than some of the more somber songs, but that is simply a matter of choice dependent upon mood at the time of listening, so they were wise to provide enough of both.
Despite the multitude of "spooky" references often associated with the band, this reviewer found less a feeling of the ominous and more of a very brooding introspection. The lyrics to all their work is available on their website and is worth a look just for the beautiful dark poetry they inhabit.
The songs (When I) Knew, Inauspicious and Please are definitely club friendly, so DJs would be wise to get them into rotation soon before they put the audience to sleep with yet another playlist that is as outdated as the dirt covering Bela Lugosi's corpse.
This band is constantly on tour so the chance is great that your area may be graced with their presence sometime soon. Give yourself a treat and wrap yourself into a world of unique music that isn't an imitation of every other band in the genre.
Post: PMB #164 4110 SE Hawthorne Blvd., Portland, OR 97214 USA
Phone: (503) 233-3075