CD Review

Fallen Tears - "The Drowned World"

By Mike Ventarola

Band Lineup:
Gorgio Bormida: guitar and bass
Jean Paul S. Braghin: keyboard, drum programs and sampling, lyricist, live bass
Elio Isaia: vocals, live guitar
Andrea Campi: live drums

The Drowned WorldThe Drowned World is a project initially conceived by Giorgio and Jean Paul. At the outset, this was a three track demo that was created for their own amusement. The songs were somehow passed around and they were contacted for more songs by newly acquired fans. The overwhelming response led to new ambitions and the current CD was spawned. From the shores of Italy, this music was placed on where this reviewer sampled the songs through a playlist another listener had compiled.

The first striking concept is the Italian grave yard cover photo. It depicts a head shot of a statue in what appears to be the throes of ecstasy. Many writers have pondered the orgasmic release upon the soul when exiting the corporeal body. It is only fitting that these songs have such an image as these songs mesh a conglomeration of human emotion through their English lyrics and stimulating musical arrangements.

Bliss opens the disc with swirling white noise and tinkles, progressing towards a march like drum beat that opens upon a vista of minor guitar chords very reminiscent to Faith and The Muse. It is a darkly sensuous piece to center you for the tracks that follow. Dark Again slams us out of our reverie with classic guitar licks and tenor vocals lamenting about "watching the road that brings no one back / hearing the grass that grows upon their graves."

Buried Under The Sea has a classic road house blues type of drum beat groove that makes this song exceedingly erotic. The percussion entwined with the minor guitar chords and symphonic harmonies of the synthesizer sent chills down my spine. The lyric, "I lay outstretched upon the dusky wave," croons and elicits our voyeuristic tendency with other lyrics that are highly suggestive and fraught with double entendres. This song is also making a lot of college air play and after hearing it I have no doubt as to the rationale why.

Teenage Queen is a light romp reminiscent of the Go-Go's classic Vacation at the opening bars. This is a light poppy Gothic/New Wave tune that naturally deals with young lust of a teen queen in all her beauty. Broken Toy becomes more serious with simple acoustic guitar chords opening it and segueing into a gentle tambourine and percussive beat with chant-like hushed singing. The opening chords progress into the more electric and synthesized version to further complete the tune adding, "our love is nothing but broken toys."

Charming You further delivers the expert handling of this material with New Wave-like percussion and a healthy marriage of guitar and synthesizer to make this a danceable and fun romp. All the right minor chord swirls are in the background with deep groaning vocals wistfully singing in the ether part of the expanse as a backup to the tenor vocals in the foreground. Burden In My Hands is naturally a double entendre that does not fail to smile at itself while delivering a heart wrenching lyric. It is about giving the object of one's affection everything. Ultimately this amasses into lies, deceptions and loneliness which in turn leaves one alone with "this burden in my hands." This is a harder edged song than the rest of the showcase, which sounds like hybrids of Field of the Nephilim, Faith and the Muse and a pinch of Rosetta Stone. The vocals are taken to new heights with the utilization of echoes and loops at various parts of the song.

Car Crash is an instrumental composition which begins with a snare and the increasing synthesizer coming from the void. It is accompanied by the ever present minor guitar chords that I am totally fond of in this style of music. It cascades in gentle rivulets against a back drop of dark luscious velvet, seducing and enticing. It is a night time drive where the only company is the white lines of the road and the swirling landscape from the sides. It stops abruptly to give rise to more frenetic minor guitar chords, distinctly detailing via audio that the crash has impacted with a slow motion plummet. The music ascends into more frantic and anxious guitar licks and ends in what can be interpreted as the final impact.

Shots and Echoes opens to a swirl of sound and quarter drum beats to make this very danceable while remaining faithful to the Gothic sound. Descriptive of the noise of silence as a drop of rain is watched "as it bleeds on the ground." A sound that it is "too loud, echoes a shot with following echoes." Nice poetry to depict the ripples on the water of one's emotional pool. Time Lapse encapsulates how "everything last just for stolen hours...made of a second." The split second between being with the one you love and the moment of melancholy that waits, lurking in the "dark shadows" to take them away. This song is accompanied with mournful guitar work and a slow steady single drum beat. This could easily be confused as something from the annuls of The Cure. Intensity builds and the rhythm progresses, indicative of how that split second can immediately change everything. They creatively stress the instruments to imitate pelting rain between the swirls of sound.

Land begins with what could be interpreted as industrial. Droning guitars that are reminiscent of a buzz saw cutting away the acreage of one's life. Again, the classic Gothic guitar riffs are evident while expert implants of exotic sounds are layered within the fabric to "take you to feel what I have felt through these lands of desolation, wastelands of burned ground wilderness." Till The End of Night is a more classic Cure-like homage on a song that has us "wandering through this moonless night searching for a life." A soul, blocked from transmutation, must go through the wanderlust and is forced to "travel till the end of night."

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