Music Reviews

Artist: Vestfalia\'s Peace (@)
Title: Loneliness
Format: CD
Label: Swiss Dark Nights Records (@)
Rated: *****
From Pescolanciano, Italy comes darkwave band Vestfalia's Peace, and their third release, 'Loneliness.' The band is comprised of Duccio Del Matto: classical guitar, electric guitar, chorus; Gianni Caldararo: vocals, bass, lyrics, chorus, mix; Salvatore Pallotta: drums; and Eugenio Auciello: electric guitar. They formed in 1997, in a very tiny village in Molise, Italy. Their first works (1999-2000) were strongly goth/new wave oriented, but around 2003 they styled themselves as more of a melancholic darwave act. They cite the band And Also The Trees as a major influence, which is fine by me as I'm a big fan of AATT's earlier work. Instrumentally Vestfalia's Peace does seem to be very influenced by that band, as well as The Cure. Vocally though is a different story. While AATT's Simon Huw Jones has a distinctively melodramatic style that just draws you in, the vocals in this band are whisper soft and often overridden by the music. The opener, title track ("Loneliness") is so indistinct as to be totally forgettable. There's a woman (Gina) also contributing supporting vocals (on a few tracks), but often it sounds like she's singing in another room. The second track "Wet Ferns Shine" is better than the first with slightly perked-up vocals, but not by a whole lot. Most of the songs on this album are quite mellow and don't cause much of a stir. Obviously the band suffers from a lack of distinction, especially in the vocal department. It's not that the vocals are bad by any means, (they are actually quite pleasant and melodic) it's just that they are very subdued and don't make much of an impact. On the musical side, the ban's sound is consistent but overly reliant on flanging and reverb. It gives the music a kind of shoegazer quality too often in my opinion. As for the songwriting, it's average with nothing was outstanding on this album. Track 9, "The Peasant" showed promise at the outset but didn't evolve into anything I'd consider compelling. Overall this is atmospheric but amorphic darkwave, which is sort of a shame because I had high hopes for it. Maybe adding a strong vocalist to the band might help. A lot of great darkwave come out of Italy, but sometimes, not so much.

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