Ophelia's Sweet Demise - "Dark Serenade"
By Marcus Pan
Based in the Milwaukee area and leaning
heavily on older style darkwave, Ophelia's Sweet Demise provide a moody sound.
The band is made up of Daniel Kufahl (formerly of Theatre Des Vampires on bass
and vocals), Katrine DeWinter (formerly of Infinisynth on programming, drums,
keyboards and vocals), Tracy Schmidt (on guitar and flute) and the newly added
Patrick (guitars) who doesn't appear on their "Dark Serenade" release. "Dark
Serenade" is indeed a fitting title for this 13 track CD made up of flowing
OSD are self-promoted and have opened for such acts as
Projekt recording artists Black Tape For a Blue Girl. Their thirteen
track "Dark Serenade" release was previewed by their smaller six track EP,
"Absinthe," five tracks of which are included on the new "Dark Serenade" since
the former has been sold out. The only track from "Absinthe" not on this CD was
the track "Magik, Magik." I don't know why and have never had the pleasure of
hearing this one.
The music of Dark Serenade is slow and moody. The keyboards
seem to almost battle the guitars on some songs and on occasion it
on others it takes away from the lyrics as sung (in a very Murphy
style of half-song half-speak) by Daniel. Many of the songs are similar and
could stand to have a lot more added to them
a bit more complication is
really the only way I can explain it.
Dark Serenade is something you put on to relax. In soothes
you with stories of missed opportunities, desire and loss. The group owes a
strong debt to the oldest of the goth rockers - Bauhaus (for their strong bass
lines and Daniels vocals); Siouxsie & The Banshees (for the carnival-like
synths in many of their tracks and for Kat's vocals). Their music occasionally
has strong, tribal-like drums and, again, the almost cat-like fights between
Tracy's guitar and Kat's keyboard. Some might say they stick too heavily to the
old style, rarely straying. Some of it, again thanks to the dreamy synths,
might be called almost ethereal in its floating sound. Especially the track
that bears the album's name, used well to close this CD.
It's a strong release and I hope to hear more from OSD.
Maybe next time they can put in a little more experimentation and stray a bit
from the root-gothic sound. Kat and Tracy could write tracks that rather than
fight, instead complement each other's work. And I think that if Daniel opened
up he could probably find a voice more his own. Ophelia's Sweet Demise has a
lot of talent
this is quite obvious. What they need to do now is develop a
direction more their own.
Contact Information for Ophelia's Sweet
Mail: 544 East Ogden,
Suite 700-212, Milwaukee, WI 53202