Music Reviews

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Title: Change Of Skin
Format: CD
Label: Society Records
Rated: *****
For sure you already read it on the internet. The Danse Society have reformed. If you have a Facebook account and you are a fan of the band's Reformation Plot page, you know that at first they (guitarist Paul Nash who on this album takes care also of the bass parts, keyboard player Dave Whitaker and drummer Paul Gilmartin) contacted the old singer Steve Rawlings who now lives in California and he seemed interested into working on new tracks. Unfortunately after a first enthusiasm they lost the contacts again. At that point, Maethelyiah, already singer and front woman of Blooding Mask proposed herself for that spot. On Facebook the old fans were mainly disappointed to have a female singer replacing Steve but they went straight to the studio and recorded thirteen new tracks. First of all let's make clear that The Danse Society split happened twenty five years ago, so even with Steve it's quite sure they should have been sounded different. On the contrary the reunion could have suffered the risk to sound fake and empty if Steve wasn't that sure of his commitment. The new album CHANGE OF SKIN has some classic The Danse Society characteristics: Paul's guitar riffs are still based on arpeggios which are of great sustain of the overall atmosphere, Dave's synths are still creating a cool ambient background with nice melodies and pads (even if unfortunately the sounds are of digital synths, to my ears) and Paul's drumming is still tribal and powerful. At this point you could think that the old band is back, well... nope. Maethelyiah's contribution is too personal to make them sound a copy of themselves and they didn't look for such a thing. Her vocals are powerful and her choruses will make you think she has three lungs. Musically try to imagine that the new Danse Society did the great record that the Siouxsie And The Banshees never did in they last period and add the characteristics I mentioned before and you'll have pretty much the idea of how they sound. Another thing that would haven't been possible to have without Maethelyiah, are those lyrics: she wrote about her thoughts on nowadays world, religion ("Vatican" is an anti clerical song in Italian, Latin and English) and visions which seems to be influenced by occultism or a spiritualistic way of living. Another peculiarity of this album are two long tracks: "Slowfire" and "End Of Days". The first one has some atmospheres that could remember their old cover of "2000 Light Years From Home", while the latter is a ballad based on piano/vocals duet which on the second part turns into a roaring semi metal tune because of Paul's riffs just to change again into its final part with a piano acoustic guitar switch. This is the tune that convinced me less but I'm convinced that the new The Danse Society have so much to give to their new and old audience.

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