Bitter Grace God And The Abyss
By ACyD BURN
Bitter Grace has lasted the test of time
and is still kicking it harder then ever. This review however is focused upon
their freshman effort which I remember well. I was in a band called Martyr
Complex as lead guitarist and had been invited to play the Gothcon 2000
Atlanta, Georgia. While roaming through the plethora of flyers and freebies I
happened upon this very same disc I am reviewing today five years later.
The CD was then, as it is now, an impressive outing of old
school goth music. To those youngsters out there telling people what is and
THIS is goth. Guitars are the mainstay on this CD; no
glowstick swinging arpeggios here kids. Think back to the days of Screams For
Tina, Alien Sex Fiend, Corpus Delecti, Fields of The Nephilim, Mission
you get the picture. The mixing has been done well enhancing the full
spectrum of sound found on the disc and offers some very ethereal gothic
masterpieces mixed with traditional goth rock of days gone by.
Beneath The Ocean Black starts off the playlist on my
windows media player and starts the disc with a very ethereal piece. Drums are
very deep and tribal, meshing with orchestral strings and deep bass tones. The
vibe is very dark, powerful and ritualistic. God and the Abyss switches
gear to some bass banging goth rock as heard on Special One. Bringing to
the table elements of Iggy Pop and old post-punk from back in the day. The
guitar distortion driven balls to the wall blues. The tempo is upbeat and will
be sure to get you banging your head or kicking someones shins.
Ashes In The Rain uses old school analogue strings
weaving into a tapestry filled with up tempo drums and a sound reminiscent of
the Mission UK. The song changes tempo to fuel up for a slight change in style
and drops back down in tempo while maintaining a constant flow. Precious
comes in with a rocking sound reminding me of Tiamat in some instances. The
track has a more glam rock sound to it, adding to the eclectic ensemble
unfolded on this release. The Very Last Goodbye brings visions of Joy
Division, Screams For Tina and The Cure. The androgynous emotion oozes out of
this track like a razor across flesh. Fever comes in next and reminds me
of Christian Death meets The Empire Hideous.
Burning Kisses is another love lost track; emotional
and heartfelt. Requiem ends the disc and sounds like background music for a
scene in Lord Of The Rings. The piece is neo classical. Wonderfully
composed with an elegance all its own. Magnificent work.
God and the Abyss totals 52 minutes of gothic
goodness and to those old schoolers out that may not have grabbed this disc in
the past they should surely seek one out. Traditional goth rock with added neo
classical and ethereal masterpieces suitable for any ritualistic activity you
may dabble in. The musicianship flawless, the overall vibe is dark and the CD
an absolute keeper!