Cold Memories & Remains

Cold Memories & Remains  
by Violet Tears
The Fossil Dungeon, 2008


Can an album be joyfully morose? If so (and I’d say “yes”), than this is one such album. A lush example of the Ethereal Romantigoth style, the band Violet Tears mixes English lyrics with their native Italian to craft sensual soundscapes of misery.

Recalling the Cocteau Twins (with more coherence), Black Tape for a Blue Girl (less emoting), and the quieter moments of The Gathering, Violet Tears originally recorded Cold Memories back in 2004. Recently, the album was picked up for US distribution by The Fossil Dungeon — a label whose eclectic darkwave sound includes Sol Invictus and The Soil Bleeds Black. For fans of Projekt Records and Cold Meat Industry, I highly recommend this label. They do good work with intriguing artists.

If nothing else, the disc’s packaging is lovely. Its rich burgundy sleeve contains a graceful liner booklet featuring black-and-white images of the band along with elegantly readable lyrics. Whether you like the music or not depends on how you feel about those lyrics (“Silence has scrambled up on / Our hearts and dust has drove / In our souls by a cold and heavy wind…”) and their stately funereal delivery. To some folks, such tapestries of angst may seem pretentiously banal; to others, they capture post-midnight moments when dead roses and bloody thorns seem like the sane response to human tragedy.

I love this stuff. To me, the slow wash of minor-key guitars is perfect for a solitary evening or slow, sad dancing. Carmen de Rosas’ rich voice weaves between guitar/synth/percussion textures, transcending the occasionally shaky English lyrics with heartfelt emotion. Even so, the closing instrumental, “Secret Words” (paradoxically, the only wordless track) may be my favorite cut on Memories. An elegiac dance, it sweeps the listener up into the dawn following this dark night of the soul. Marvelous.

All in all, I enjoy Memories and listen to it often. That said, it’s not for everyone. A girlfriend of mine found it gorgeous yet depressing, and aside from “Secret Words” and the rapturous “In the Throat of the Unbound,” most songs blend together. The album works best late at night, or as a soundtrack to Gothic reading. For Witches who love their romance dark and tragic, I commend Cold Memories & Remains to your collections.


RATING: 4 Broomsticks

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